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Posted on May 31, 2010 |
Filed under: Asean, rxn to recent headlines


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This is just BIZARRE on so many different levels…..

2-year-old boy smokes 40 cigarettes a day

BEIJING, May 30 — Taking a deep drag on his cigarette while resting on the steering wheel of his truck, he looks like a parody of a middle-aged lorry driver.

But the image covers up a much more disturbing truth: At just the tender age of two, Ardi Rizal’s health has been so ruined by his 40-a-day habit that he now struggles to move by himself.

The four-stone Indonesia toddler is certainly far too unfit to run around with other children – and his condition is set to rapidly deteriorate.

His mother, Diana, 26, wept: “He’s totally addicted. If he doesn’t get cigarettes, he gets angry and screams and batters his head against the wall. He tells me he feels dizzy and sick.”

But, despite local officials’ offer to buy the Rizal family a new car if the boy quits, his parents feel unable to stop him because he throws massive tantrums if they don’t indulge him.

Ardi will smoke only one brand and his habit costs his parents 3.78 British pounds (about 5.50 U.S. dollars) a day in Musi Banyuasin, in Indonesia’s South Sumatra province.

But in spite of this, his fishmonger father Mohammed, 30, said: “He looks pretty healthy to me. I don’t see the problem.”

Ardi’s youth is the extreme of a disturbing trend. Data from the Central Statistics Agency showed 25 per cent of Indonesian children aged three to 15 have tried cigarettes, with 3.2 per cent of those active smokers.

The percentage of five to nine year olds lighting up increased from 0.4 per cent in 2001 to 2.8 per cent in 2004, the agency reported.


And more cancerous info on indonesia…

According to the World Health Organisation, cigarette consumption in the Southeast Asian archipelago soared 47 percent in the 1990s.

Almost 70 percent of men over 20 years of age smoke, and regular smoking among boys aged 15 to 19 increased from 36.8 percent in 1997 to 42.6 percent in 2000.

But anti-smoking initiatives have floundered in the face of the powerful local tobacco industry, which employs scores of thousands of people and generates more than six billion dollars a year for the government.

Well, I feel lucky that as a physician I never had to council toddlers on the adverse effects of smoking. This is clearly a case of child abuse and the child should be removed from the family who should be prosecuted by the authorities rather than offered a new car.

Tej Deol, M.D.

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