People addicted to smoking may have interesting stories about how they picked up their vice. Some may attribute it to peer pressure and others may blame stress. But perhaps the zaniest may belong to a two-year-old Indonesian boy from Sukabumi, Indonesia Rapi Ananda Pamungkas who developed a smoking habit even before he learnt to talk. Rapi’s mom ran a stall at a busy market stall by a road that was usually littered with cigarette butts. It didn’t take too long for the curious toddler to pick them up and emulate the people who smoked cigarettes.
Today, Rapi pesters passers-by for cigarettes as the toddler has developed a full-blown addiction to smoking. The adults who humoured the child with cigarettes never suspected that he was serious. Rapi now smokes at least 40 cigarettes a day and throws a fit every time he is denied one. His mother Maryati says that the child cannot eat cake or drink coffee without having a cigarette in his hand.
The parents are left with no choice but to indulge the child since he goes berserk if he can’t have cigarettes. Maryati says that he’d cry the whole day if he is denied.
Here's the video of Rapi smoking:
Children Smoking In Indonesia
Is Rapi's case one-of-a-kind? Yes, but not in Indonesia. The country is currently battling a serious tobacco problem and children addicted to smoking are a common sight in the country. Many of the victims of tobacco are not young men and teenagers, but toddlers. Before Rapi, there was Aldi Suganda who had a full-blown smoking habit at the age of two. He shot to international fame as the “chain-smoking toddler” as video clips of him smoking cigarette went viral. Aldi has since kicked the habit and is trying to lead a normal lifestyle, but others like him haven’t been so fortunate. How Bad is Smoking One Cigarette a Day? Even Social Smoking Is Addictive
According to Indonesia’s Central Bureau of Statistics, in 2013, one-fifth of the population spent 7.1 of their monthly expenditure on tobacco and betel leaf and the poorest spent 12.5, reports CNN. The spending on tobacco was six times that of staples like egg and milk. Smoking can cause impotence and impair your sex life
Dr Aman Pulungan, president of the Indonesian Pediatric Society, told CNN that teenagers get employed at a young age and earn to fuel their smoking addiction. The culture of smoking is so deep-rooted in Indonesia that visitors find themselves bombarded with countless tobacco ads the moment they step into the country, reports abc News. A combination of factors such as advertisement and culture has led to the present situation in Indonesia. To make matters worse, cigarettes are also quite affordable in the country where a pack of 12 can cost less than a dollar. More than 6 lakh children are smoking in India
Aldi from Indonesia smoked 40 cigs a day!
Rapi, who started as early as two, may experience developmental disorders if his habit is not nipped in the bud on time. The effects of second-hand smoke on children include heart diseases, stroke and lung cancer. It's scary to imagine what a full-blown smoking addiction can do to a young body. If the right intervention is made, Rapi can be saved from the repercussions of his devastating habit like Aldi has been.