New York, May 28 (ANI): Two-year-old Sumatran boy Ardi Rizal's two-pack-a-day cigarette habit has sparked outrage, prompting an American anti-smoking group to call upon the Indonesian government to take urgent action.
"It's clear the parents of this baby don't understand the risk smoking poses to their child," the New York Daily News quoted Matthew Myers of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids in Washington, D.C., as saying.
He added: "This reflects a pervasive problem in many low-income countries where tobacco companies market their products to an uneducated public," Myers said.
Ardi, who lives in the fishing village of Musi Banyuasin, in Indonesia's South Sumatra, was given his first cigarette by his dad at just 18 month old.
His mum, Diana, understands her son has a problem.
She said: "He's totally addicted.
"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."
But Ardi's father, Mohammad Rizal, is unfazed by his son's smoking habit.
"I'm not worried about his health, he looks healthy. He cries and throws tantrums when we don't let him smoke. He's addicted," the Telegraph quoted him, as saying.
Seto Mulyadi, chairman of Indonesia's child protection commission, says parents who smoke and aggressive advertising are responsible for the rise in the number of child smokers.
He said: "A law to protect children and passive smokers should be introduced immediately in this country." (ANI)