A toddler from Indonesia smoked 40 cigarettes a day, but thankfully he has now quit the bad habit in exchange for a year’s supply of biscuits and milk.
The two-year-old, named Rapi Ananda Pamungkas, or ‘Rap’ for short, would reportedly get aggressive if his smoking desires weren’t met.
The young boy started smoking by picking up discarded cigarette butts from the floor outside his mum’s food stall in Sukabumi, which older boys would then light for him.
The child’s addiction became so bad that he would ask passing strangers for cigarettes, and ‘go berserk’ if he couldn’t get his hands on any. He even had trouble sleeping if he hadn’t had his tobacco fix.
Unbelievably, Rap’s favourite activity was kicking back with black coffee and a smoke. While it might be an enjoyable pastime for a 20-something year old, it’s definitely not good for an infant.
The two-year-old’s father said:
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.
The child’s parents initially found his smoking habit quite amusing, and Rap’s mother even admitted to buying the little boy two packets of cigarettes a day to stop his tantrums.
However, once they realised how out of control the child’s smoking was, the parents decided they wanted to see a doctor about the issue.
After Rap’s story was shared online with the world, doctors and government officials visited the family’s home in the remote West Java regency of the country last week.
In an attempt to get him to stop smoking, Rap was given several boxes of biscuits and formula milk, with the local council set to make a full year’s worth of supplies available to him.
As well as the sweet bribes, the child was given toys which he can be seen playing with in the video. Officials are also looking for sporting activities he can take part in to keep his mind off cigarettes.
Rap’s mother was ‘educated’ in the dangers of smoking, which will hopefully prevent her from buying the child any packs in the future.
She was also ordered to show her son graphic pictures of cigarette-induced illnesses whenever he asks for the tobacco filled products.
Hopefully the harrowing warning images will put Rap off smoking again.
Speaking about her son’s change of heart towards cigarettes, the 35-year-old said:
Yes, he’s stopped smoking. I am happy. My child has not smoked for the past two days.
Before I was afraid not to let him smoke. This morning I went to the market, and Rapi not go berserk to ask for cigarettes and coffee.
Now for two days he has not asked. He looks at the cigarette butts on the floor but does not pick them up. Usually he would take them and suck them.
Let’s hope Rap picks up some more age-appropriate habits and sticks to those instead.
If you have a story you want to tell, send it to [email protected]
Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.