A toddler from Indonesia has become addicted to chain smoking, getting through a worrying 40 cigarettes a day.
Two-year-old Rapi Ananda Pamungkas – nicknamed Rap – will reportedly become aggressive if he can’t get his cigarette fix, throwing tantrums and going ‘beserk.’
Rap began his habit by smoking discarded butts he found near his mum’s food stall in Sukabumi, which older boys would light for him. He became addicted very quickly, mithering passersby for ‘meroko’, the local name for cigs.
His parents initially found his habit amusing, chuckling at the sight of the small child lighting up, usually accompanied with a coffee. However, they now want to take him to a doctor to treat his unhealthy cravings.
Rap’s mum Maryati has confessed to buying the little boy two packets of cigarettes a day to appease him and stop his out-of-control tantrums:
My child is used to smoking while drinking coffee and eating cake.
He has been smoking every day for around two months. If I don’t give him a cigarette, my child goes berserk.
35-year-old Maryati has claimed it is difficult to impose a ban on Rap’s smoking, as he will simply proceed to cry all day.
The worried mum explained:
If Rapi doesn’t get cigarettes he cannot sleep. He will start rampaging and crying. 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.
Rap’s dad Misbahudin is puzzled about why his child would think to start the habit. Although he himself smokes, he only does so at work and not very often.
According to 40-year-old Misbahudin:
I cannot say no to him when he asks for a cigarette. I don’t even smoke that often. I only smoke at work. When my son smokes he likes to have a cup of mochaccino.
Indonesia has one of the highest numbers of smokers on earth, and is facing an escalating issue of child smokers. Approximately nine per cent of under 18s regularly smoke.
Back in 2010, two-year-old Aldi Rizal made headlines after startling footage emerged showing him smoking through two packets a day. As of 2017, Aldi had reportedly kicked the habit for good.
Here’s hoping little Rap will get the help he needs to put a stop to this dangerous addiction.
For information on quitting smoking, call the NHS Smoking Helpline today on 0800 169 0 169, or visit the NHS website
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Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.