Clear The Air News Tobacco Blog Rotating Header Image

Indonesia Is Facing a Childhood Cigarette Addiction Crisis

unnamed (1)

If you’re worried about your 6-year-old’s mac-and-cheese or Minecraft addiction, take heart in the fact that he’s not fixated on cigarettes. According to Business Insider, nicotine addiction is a growing problem in Indonesia, where cigarettes are cheap (about $1 a pack) and advertising is prevalent, leading children — as young as 2 — to turn to cigarettes when their peers around the world are seeking out pacifiers.

The site tells the tale of 6-year-old Dihan, who now smokes five cigarettes a day. If that sounds crazy, how about the fact that he was going through two packs a day, but when he started coughing a lot, the child’s doctor ordered him to quit? Dihan’s father is a tobacco farmer who keeps a year’s worth of tobacco under their front porch, but that’s not where the tot got his first cigarettes. While his parents thought he was buying candy with his pocket money, he was actually buying tobacco.

“If I grabbed the cigarette from him, he would just start crying,” his dad said.

Now, Dihan and his father often roll their cigarettes and smoke together. And if he wants another one, Dihan visits his local newsstand, where he can purchase an individual cigarette for about 5 cents. While activists are calling for more government involvement in the awareness of tobacco addiction, their work is falling on deaf ears. It was five years ago that video of a smoking toddler in Sumatra (pictured above) went viral, and very little has changed.

In fact, the number of children ages 5 to 9 who smoke has tripled over the past 20 years.

It makes your child’s sugar addiction sound downright healthy, doesn’t it?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>