Friday, May 28, 2010

Smoking Toddler in Indonesia

I heard this on the news the other day and was at a loss for words. I mean, I realize that there are some dumb parents out there, but this just blows so far past the line of simple, common sense that even someone like ME, who's often deficient in the common sense department, has a hard time fathoming this level of ignorance and stupidity. The little Indonesian boy in the picture, Ardi, is two years old, and he smokes somewhere around two packs of cigarettes a day (click here for the full article). His dad gave him his first cigarette when he was 18 months old, and now he's hooked. Mom and Dad refuse to kick Ardi's habit, because he throws temper tantrums when he is denied a cigarette (um, really? You'd rather turn your kids' lungs black than hear him scream for a little while?).

There are so many problems with this story, I don't even know where to start. I cant even imagine why the Dad would ever in a million years give his baby a cigarette in the first place. The only theory I can come up with is that Dad thought it was funny to see his baby puffing on a cigarette, in the same way some people feel amused to see their dog lapping up a bottle of beer at a barbecue. Perhaps stupid, immature Dad never realized that this so-called funny display would actually lead to an addiction. But now that the toddler is hooked, why on earth do the parents keep supplying him the cigarettes? The government even offered to give the family a brand new car if they quit giving Ardi cigarettes, and they refused. Apparently having shiny new transportation isn't worth the family having to endure Ardi's temper tantrums when he is denied his next cigarette. I almost wonder if, in some sick twisted way, the family is enjoying the attention from the media. They didn't seem too shy about offering up a video proudly exploiting their toddler's smoking habit, and even now, the dad just doesn't seem overly concerned about his son's health.

At any rate, these parents are seriously disturbed, and it's a shame that Indonesia doesn't consider this child abuse. The whole thing is just sick.