Smoking toddler with two-packs-a-day habit quits after being given year's supply of milk and biscuits
Rapi Ananda Pamungkas would even pester passers by, begging for them to get him a cigarette; his mum admitted she would even buy him cigarettes to calm him down
A two-year-old boy who had a 40-a-day smoking habit has been able to stop the bad habit after being given a year's supply of milk and biscuits. Little Rapi Ananda Pamungkas was smoking through two packs of cigarettes every day.
He had picked up the bad habit by picking up used cigarette butts which were outside his mother's food stall in Sukabumi, Indonesia in the month of June this year. The habit reportedly got so bad that he would start to pester and beg adults passing by to give him cigarettes. If he was not able to smoke, he would often "go berserk". His 35-year-old mother Maryati admitted that she would buy cigarettes to calm the child down.
"My child is used to smoking while drinking coffee and eating cake. He has been smoking every day for around two months. If I don't give him a cigarette, my child goes berserk," Maryati shared, as reported by Mirror.
His favorite activity had become smoking a cigarette while drinking coffee. The toddler would also need to smoke a cigarette before going to bed at night. Recently, Maryati and her husband Misbahudin were seen with Rapi at the local market and the child as usual was smoking a cigarette.
Once his story had got the attention of the media, doctors and government officials visited the family's home in West Java regency to offer advice and help. The child was given many boxes of formula milk and biscuits to keep him healthy. The local council also decided to make these supplies available for him for the next one year. Maryati was also schooled on the dangers and consequences of smoking.
She was told that everytime Rapi asked for a cigarette, she was to show him graphic pictures of illnesses and diseases caused as a result of smoking. "Yes, he's stopped smoking. I am happy. My child has not smoked for the past two days," she revealed. "Before I was afraid not to let him smoke. This morning I went to the market, and Rapi did not go berserk or ask for cigarettes and coffee".
"Now for two days, he has not asked. He looks at the cigarette butts on the floor but does not pick them up. Usually, he would take them and suck them," she continued. The head of the Cibadak Public Health Center Maman Surahman said, "We, from the health center, are responsible for handling the child's nutrition. After the health center became involved, his condition has improved and the problem has gone away".
"In order to stop him from smoking, we have given education to the parents. When children ask for cigarettes, they must be given scary images. This will make the child afraid. These are images of skulls, hollow throat, and so on. Doing this means that gradually this child has stopped smoking. We are also coordinating with the government for monitoring him. This is not only the responsibility of the Health Office. The therapy will also be a collaboration with the Office of Social Affairs," Surahman continued.