Smoking Baby

Sara - posted on 06/01/2010 ( 8 moms have responded )

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What say you all about this? I left out the original video of the kid puffing away, it's just too messed up for me. I'm sure you can google it and find watch it if you want. This still leaves plenty of things to discuss.




Jakarta, Indonesia (CNN) -- Two-year-old Aldi yanked on his mother's hair and squirmed in her arms.

Tears formed a small pool in the folds of his double chin.

"He's crying because he wants a cigarette," said Diana, his mother, who like many Indonesians goes by only one name.

We caught up with Aldi, who is nearly twice the weight of other babies his age (20 kilograms or 44 pounds), and his mother at Jakarta's airport.

Video of him plopped on a brightly-colored toy truck inhaling deeply and happily blowing smoke rings had circulated on the Internet last week, turning him into a local celebrity.

As we spoke to his mother, a crowd gathered and a man taunted Aldi with a cigarette, blowing smoke in his direction.

"Smoking has been a part of our culture for so long it isn't perceived as being hazardous, as causing illness, as poisonous," said Seto Mulyadi, chairman of Indonesia's National Commission for Child Protection. "A lot of adults who are around children will smoke. They will carry a baby in one hand and a cigarette in another. Even mothers don't understand that they are poisoning their children."

Mulyadi met with Aldi in Jakarta, where his mother brought him for help. He said Aldi was a bright boy, quicker than most children his age.

He also said Aldi was a victim of his environment.

Mulyadi told Diana that she needed to find other things to occupy the boy's time.

But he told us what was disturbing was that the parents motivation to get Aldi to quit wasn't stemming primarily from an understanding of the risk to his health, but more from the cost of spending four dollars a day -- Aldi smokes an average of 40 cigarettes daily.

"Well, I don't want to give him cigarettes, but what I am I supposed to do? I am confused," his mother said. "I didn't let him smoke, I even forbade him from smoking, but I was trying to stop him from getting sick."

She showed us a scar on Aldi's head, where she said he smashed his head into a wall during one of his tantrums. She said he also vomits when he can't satisfy his addiction.

"I was smoking when I was pregnant, but after I gave birth I quit," she said. "I don't remember when, but we went to the market and then suddenly he had a cigarette in his hand. Even when he was a baby and he would smell smoke he would be happy."

Both she and her husband have quit smoking. She said that Aldi had cut down his habit in Jakarta and hopefully he will soon quit.

"For us, it's not shocking at all, but it's very, very sad," Mulyadi said. "What we know about this phenomenon is only the tip of the iceberg."

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Charlie - posted on 06/03/2010

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He was on the news last night .

This boy lives in third world conditions even the monkeys in that country have smoking addictions , they live in a very different place , it doesnt make it right but they know no better , they have no access to education or information on the dangers smoking , some third wolrd countries can be 40 years behind western cultures , does any one know how excepted smoking was 40 years ago here ? it was mainstream and very accepted .
I think its sad he and his family lack the opportunity to educate themselves on anything , thankfully since the media picked up this story the mother ( yes he is still with his mother ) has started weaning him off the cigarettes , he is going through mass withdrawals , it was sad to watch him scream for a ciggy but i for one am glad that his mother has been given the opportunity to learn what it is smoking is doing to her child .

C. - posted on 06/03/2010

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I saw the video a little bit ago.. It's really sad. His family/friends were all gathered around laughing like it was some joke! When he gets lung cancer at 10, they won't think it's so funny!!! I also heard that he was now in protective custody, so that lets me breathe a LITTLE sigh of relief. Why anyone would do that to their little baby is just beyond me. Could people be more stupid?

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Really sad but I know that culture plays such a huge part of it. Hopefully the governemnet will start to look into this health hazard.

*Lisa* - posted on 06/01/2010

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Yeah I think it has a lot to do with the culture and the cigarette companies being allowed to advertise freely without advertising the health risks. Very sad though! Hopefully things will start to change.

Joanna - posted on 06/01/2010

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That is really sad, unfortunately like they said in that article, it's not so alarming in that culture. If it happened here the parents would be locked away and the 2 year old put in rehab/hospital. I mean, how is a 2 year old supposed to understand that is' bad for you, and THEN understand the withdrawl symptoms he's feeling when they get taken away? Of course he's going to have tantrums... I have tantrums when I'm quitting! It's such a sad story, and I hope something is done to help him, like someone with the means sending him to a rehab facility for these kind of problems in young children.

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