Help sought for 2-year-old smoker

An Indonesian mother brought her 2-year-old boy to the nation’s capital seeking help for his addiction — to cigarettes, officials said.

A video of the toddler inhaling deeply on a cigarette and blowing smoke rings showed up on the Internet last week, turning him into a local celebrity, CNN reported Sunday.

His mother Diana, who like many Indonesians goes by just one name, met at the Jakarta airport with Seto Mulyadi, chairman of Indonesia’s National Commission for Child Protection.

Ardi Rizal sits smoking on his favourite toy at home in Musi Banyuasin, Indonesia

Ardi Rizal sits smoking on his favourite toy at home in Musi Banyuasin, Indonesia

The boy, named Ardi, is a victim of his environment, Mulyadi said.

“Smoking has been a part of our culture for so long it isn’t perceived as being hazardous, as causing illness, as poisonous,” Mulyadi said.

“For us, it’s not shocking at all, but it’s very, very sad,” Mulyadi said. “What we know about this phenomenon is only the tip of the iceberg.”

Mulyadi said believes child smokers are getting younger.

“We are fighting to remind the country that we really need to protect our children,” Mulyadi said.

Diana and her husband have quit smoking, she said. Aldi had cut down his 40-cigarette-a-day habit in Jakarta, she said, and hopefully would soon quit.

source: upi.com

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