At an infant age of just two, Indonesian boy smokes 40 cigarettes a day and takes puffs in between cups of coffee.
Rapi Ananda Pamungkas, a resident of Sukabum city, has already made international headlines for his chain-smoking habits. He has been smoking for about a month with two packs a day.
According to reports, he became addicted to smoking by picking up used butts scattered outside his mother’s market stall. He then copied the behaviour of the adult smokers around him.
But within days he was hooked and would constantly pester passing shoppers to give him cigarettes.
His 35-year-old mother, known only as Maryati, said that Rapi would throw a fit if his parents tried to put a stop to his addiction.
“My child has been smoking for more or less a month. If I don’t buy cigarettes for him, he would throw a tantrum. Recently, he asked to go to the coffee shop to drink coffee while smoking,” she said.
“If Rapi doesn’t get cigarettes, he cannot sleep. He will start rampaging and crying,” Maryati was quoted as saying in the British newspaper The Sun.
“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.”
Rapi’s father, Misbahudin, 40, who also smokes, says doesn’t know why his child became so addicted to smoking.
“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 parents said they will take the toddler for rehabilitation to try and kick his smoking habit.
Indonesia has one of the highest numbers of smokers per population in the world, according to figures from the Health Ministry and a growing problem of child smokers. Around nine per cent of minors smoke regularly.
That year, the ministry recorded an 8.8 per cent increase in the number of young smokers aged 10 to 18. The low cost of cigarettes has been identified as one of the major motives why many in the country have been lured into the habit.