Rapi Ananda Pamungkas is only 2 years old, and he’s already at the center of a heated backlash after a video showing him smoking a cigarette circulated online.
Rapi, who lives in Indonesia, started smoking at the market run by his mother, Maryati. One day, he inhaled a lit cigarette butt he found on the ground and said it was “delicious.” After that, he was apparently hooked and would roam around his mother’s market begging shoppers for more and plucking them off the streets.
Indonesia has one of the highest rates of smoking in the world — and an estimated 9% of children under the age of 18 are classified as regular smokers.
Maryati says that while she is concerned about her son’s health, she has a hard time saying no. If Rapi is refused his cigarettes (of which he apparently smokes two packs a day), he throws tantrums, screams and cries, and pulls out his hair.
Recently, health officials visited Maryati and urged her to get Rapi to stop smoking cold turkey, for fear he’ll wind up with brain damage. “How can I change what he likes?” she asked them. “When I’m working, he walks alone and finds them on the street.”
She claimed to have gotten Rapi to cut down on his nicotine habit and focus more on appropriate activities, like playing with toys.
However, a new video posted online suggests the boy has still not changed his dangerous ways.
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