Blast from the Past

This story is 10 years old.  But it is still jaw dropping.

Smoking baby reportedly has quit

The tubby Indonesian toddler who caused a sensation last spring by enthusiastically puffing on cigarettes in a widely viewed video has quit smoking, according to media reports.

Two-year-old Ardi Rizal of South Sumatra, who reportedly smoked 40 cigarettes a day, has broken his nicotine addiction through a 30-day rehabilitation program, the Jakarta Globe reported Thursday.

“He has stopped smoking and doesn’t ask for cigarettes anymore,” Arist Merdeka Sirait, chairman of Indonesia’s National Commission on Child Protection, said, according to another publication, Earth Times.  According to earlier reports, the child was placed in state custody after the video emerged and the boy’s parents said he would cry and throw tantrums if he went too long without smoking a cigarette.

Heavy smoking appeared to have caused the boy’s brain to shrink and could cause other health problems later, Sirait said, according to Earth Times.

“He needs to be in a smoking-free environment so that he doesn’t start smoking again,” Sirait said.

Anti-smoking advocates say Indonesia’s tobacco industry markets its products to children, according to the Globe.

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