An Indonesian 2-year-old who hit the headlines last month due to a 40-a-day cigarette addiction has reportedly cut down to 15 cigarettes-a-day from 40, after the child received therapy.
Ardi Rizal, the two-year-old Indonesian child and his parents shocked the world when a video taken by a reporter who heard of Rizal was released onto popular video sharing websites.
Rizal’s smoking habit highlighted Indonesia’s light rules on cigarette smoking and the lack of control families had on their children regarding smoking.
His father who spoke of his son’s cigarette addiction had said that he gave him his first cigarette when he was just 16-months-old and that he had not stopped ever since.
The mother and father also said that the child through violent tantrums and started to scream when cigarettes were not given to him.
What had shocked people who viewed the 2-year-old toddler smoking was the acrobatic moves which he tried to do with the cigarette he was smoking while his mother and father were laughing in the background.
The video has been watched between an estimated 6-10 million times on Youtube.
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Child welfare officials offered to help the child to help him cut down cigarettes after the international outcry.
National Commission for Child Protection chairman Seto Mulyadi said “The boy has been able to reduce his cigarette intake significantly, very quickly, after the treatment. The therapy focused on playing – we occupied him with toys so that he forgets cigarettes,”
Video of 2 year old Indonesian child smoking, not suitable for people under the age of 18
The video of a chubby 2-year-old child giggling and smiling while smoking a cigarette has apparently cut down his addiction to 15 a day from 40, after the child received “therapy focused on playing”, according to a child welfare official.
Mr Mulyadi also added that the child’s smoking addiction continued and developed while his parents worked at a traditional market place in Indonesia.
Thearapists have said that, toya and someone to play with has largely helped the child forget about smoking for a while. Therapists also tried to encourage Ardi to associate cigarettes with bad things.
Mr Mulyadi said “The boy likes singing songs so we tell him that if he continues smoking, he won’t be able to be a singer one day, and it works”.
“It’s much easier to help kids like him than teenage tobacco addicts.”
Indonesia is one of the leading countries in the world in both manufacturing and smoking cigarettes. Many people in the country do not know the health risks associated with smoking.
Indonesia has one of the worst smoking records in the world, with a population of 250 million people; they are listed as the third most smoking country behind China (1.3 Billion population) and India (1.1 billion population).
It is reported that over a third of the country smokes, and 90% of the country’s smokers smoke a native cigarette which has twice the levels of tar and nicotine in an average cigarette used around the world.
According to the South-East Asia Tobacco Control Alliance (SEATCA), over 90% of Indonesian children have watched advertisement promoting of cigarettes.
Some schools and even sports teams are sponsored by tobacco companies in the country.
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