A 2-year-old Indonesian boy who attracted international attention for smoking 40 cigarettes a day has quit the habit after a month of therapy, a child-protection agency said Thursday.
Ardi Rizal started consuming cigarettes when he was 18 months old, and images of him smoking have been shown on international television.
“He has stopped smoking and doesn’t ask for cigarettes anymore,” said Arist Merdeka Sirait, chairman of theNational Commission on Child Protection.
Sirait said heavy smoking appeared to have caused brain shrinkage in the boy and could pose health risks for him at a later age.
“He needs to be in a smoking-free environment so that he doesn’t start smoking again,” he said.
The commission put the boy under its care in June after videos showing him smoking circulated on the Internet.
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Nearly one-third of Indonesia’s 230 million people and more than 60 per cent of its male population smokes, according to the Demographic Institute at the University of Indonesia.