A video clip of a young Indonesian boy smoking a cigarette is making its way around the internet, and the story behind it is as sad as it is shocking.
Ardi Rizal smokes up to 40 cigarettes a day. He smokes one brand and one brand only, and has major meltdowns when his parents try to take his smokes away. Because he’s TWO YEARS OLD.
Yes, you read that right: Ardi is a twenty-four month old baby with a two-pack-a-day habit.
“He’s totally addicted,” said his mother, Diana. “If he doesn’t get cigarettes, he gets angry and screams and batters his head against the wall. He tells me he feels dizzy and sick.”
Apparently, officials have offered to outfit the family with a new vehicle if their son quit smoking. But Mohammed, his father, who may have gotten Ardi hooked on the habit (I’ve read several other articles that allege Mohammed allowed Ardi to try a cigarette at 18 months), doesn’t see the problem, saying, “He looks pretty healthy to me.”
It’s an alarming, not to mention disturbing trend in Indonesia – statistics show that 25% of kids aged three to 15 have tried cigarettes; nearly three and a half per cent of them are active smokers. A bill on tobacco control has yet to be put in to place due to opposition from the tobacco industry, though an anti-smoking coalition is pushing for tighter restrictions on smoking and cigarette advertising.
In the meantime, Ardi’s habit costs his parents almost £4 a day. They live in a province where households bring in an average of about £69. You do the math.
I mean, look at him! That child – that BABY – looks like an experienced smoker! *head explodes*
You know, I’ve read, and written about, some truly whack stuff, but this story takes the cake. For once, I am truly speechless.