Do customs promote health issues through tobacco excise taxation?

By on May 15, 2023. Posted in .

Aditya Lia Ramadona1, Renie Cuyno Mellen2, Ifa Najiyati2,  Zakiya Ammalia Farahdilla2, Retna Siwi Padmawati1,2

1Department of Health Behavior, Environment, and Social Medicine; 2Center for Health Behaviour and Promotion; Faculty of Medicine, Public Health, and Nursing, Universitas Gadjah Mada, Yogyakarta, Indonesia, 55281

Latar Belakang. Cigarette excise taxation is an important public health tool used by governments to reduce tobacco consumption and mitigate associated health risks. In early 2023, the Indonesian government officially set a cigarette excise tax increase of 10 to 15 percent (Minister of Finance Regulation Number 191 of 2022). In Indonesia, the Customs and Excise Office (CEOs) is responsible for implementing cigarette excise taxes. As much as 25% of cigarette excise taxes are used for the health sector. However, the extent to which the CEOs promote public health through these taxes remains unclear. This study aimed to investigate whether the CEOs promote health issues through cigarette excise taxation by analyzing tweets from the @beacukaiRI account.

Metode. Data was collected from the @beacukaiRI Twitter account from January 1, 2020, to May 4, 2023. The total number of tweets from the account during this period was 3 273, of which 209 contained the Indonesian word for “cigarette” (“rokok”). The content of these tweets was analyzed to determine whether they contained messages promoting public health, especially in utilization of cigarette excise taxes in the health sector. 

Hasil. The analysis found no evidence that the CEOs promote health issues through their tweets about tobacco excise taxation. None of the tweets containing the word “rokok” were found to promote health messages to their audience. This suggests that the CEOs may prioritize revenue generation over public health concerns when implementing tobacco excise taxes.

Kesimpulan. This study suggests that CEOs may be able to increase their public health promotion through tobacco excise taxation on social media, e.g. the urgency of cigarette excise tax increase to improve the quality of public health. The CEOs as the supervisory agency for the circulation of illegal cigarettes has a role to optimize the purpose of excise taxation, which is to regulate the behavior and consumption of the community in order to improve the quality of public health, as well as a source of state revenue. However, the lack of health-related messaging in tweets about tobacco excise taxation raises questions about whether the CEOs fully prioritize public health concerns in implementing these taxes. It would be helpful for future research to explore the potential influence of other factors, such as revenue generation and industry influence, on the CEOs’ approach to tobacco excise taxation. By better understanding these factors, we can work towards developing more effective public health policies and strategies.

Kata Kunci: tobacco tax, digital health promotion, novel data, Twitter

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