Friday, August 17, 2018
2-year-old Indon boy smokes 40 cigarettes a day, drinks coffee
JAKARTA (The Straits Times/Asia News Network) - He smokes about 40 cigarettes a day and takes puffs in between cups of coffee.
Just before bedtime, he has to have a stick too.
Indonesian Rapi Ananda Pamungka is only two years old but he has already made international headlines for his chain-smoking habits.
The toddler, who lives in Sukabumi province in west Java, has been smoking for about a month, often going through two packs a day.
According to local news website SukabumiUpdate, Rapi became addicted to smoking after he picked up used cigarette butts off the floor.
He then copied the behaviour of the adult smokers around him.
His 35-year-old mother, known only as Maryati, said that Rapi would throw a fit if his parents tried to put a stop to his addiction.
"My child has been smoking for more or less a month. If I don't buy cigarettes for him, he would throw a tantrum. Recently, he asked to go to the coffee shop to drink coffee while smoking," she said.
"If Rapi doesn't get cigarettes he cannot sleep. He will start rampaging and crying," Maryati was quoted in the British newspaper The Sun.
"It's expensive, because we have to buy them for him. He likes to do it all day. He can smoke about 40 every day."
The boy's father, Misbahudin, 36, said that Rapi has even hounded passers-by for sticks.
Misbahudin added that he puffs only occasionally at work. Thus, he is shocked that his son is able to hold a cigarette just like an older child.
"If he smokes, it has to be accompanied with a mochachino coffee," he told Sukabumi Update.
Keen for him to kick the habit, Rapi's parents are reportedly looking to send him for rehabilitation soon.
Indonesia is one of the world's largest smoking nations, with more than 60 million active smokers in 2017, according to figures from the Health Ministry.
That year, the ministry recorded an 8.8 per cent increase in the number of young smokers aged 10 to 18.
The low cost of cigarettes has been identified as one of the key reasons why many in the country have been lured into temptation.
Anti-tobacco activists say that even children from poor families are able to afford them.
In 2010, a YouTube video of an Indonesian toddler who reportedly smoked 40 cigarettes a day shocked health experts in the country.
Ardi Rizal from south Sumatra, who is now nine years old, has since been weaned off cigarettes with the Indonesian government's help, according to a Daily Mail report last year.
And now in primary school, he has become a star student in his cohort.
In 2014, video footage of a Chinese toddler smoking in the street as passers-by did nothing to stop him similarly sparked outrage.
The boy, who looked to be no older than three, was seen holding a cigarette and taking puffs on it, while onlookers watched and laughed. – The Straits Times/Asia News Network
Posted by wikisabah at 2:34:00 PM