In 2010, the world was shocked when a 2-year-old boy from Indonesia went viral — for being addicted to smoking cigarettes.
A video of the chain-smoking boy, named Ardi Rizal, was posted to the internet. It showed him puffing on a cigarette and news spread that he smoked up to 40 cigarettes a day.
At the time, Ardi’s parents had poor excuses for their son’s addiction. His mother was quoted saying, “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.” His father said he thought Ardi looked healthy enough.
According to Independent, child smoking in Indonesia is a major concern, with up to 30 percent of the country’s 80 million children taking up the habit by age 10. In 2008, over 165 billion cigarettes were sold in the country.
Ardi’s story resulted in so much global disgust and widespread attention that the Indonesian government placed Ardi in a rehabilitation program to break him of his horrible habit. In fact, there was so much backlash against the footage and photos of Ardi smoking that the government launched a nationwide campaign to end childhood smoking altogether.
Ardi overcame his smoking addiction, but quickly replaced it with another harmful habit…
In 2010, a video of a 2-year-old boy smoking cigarettes went viral. People all over the world were disgusted to see Ardi Rizal puffing on a cigarette in his hometown in Indonesia.
By the time he was 3, Ardi was smoking up to 40 cigarettes a day. Because of the global outrage, the government placed Ardi in a rehab program and launched a campaign to address the problem of child smoking.
Luckily, Ardi was able to break the habit through his treatment program, which included counseling and therapy — but he replaced one harmful addiction with another.
Ardi got hooked on junk food. By the time he was 6 years old, Ardi was morbidly obese. His parents, finally willing and ready to see their son healthy, connected him with a nutritionist and placed him on a strict diet.
Ardi, now 8, has kicked both of his addictions. He has vowed to stay away from cigarettes and junk food and has been doing great so far.
Though his story began as a heartbreaking one, Ardi proves anyone can overcome unhealthy habits with determination and support.
What do you think of Ardi’s transformation? Let us know, and please SHARE his story with your friends on Facebook!
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