2-year-old Rapi Ananda Pamungkas hit headlines earlier this month, after it was revealed that the boy was smoking two packs of cigarettes per day! Experts have now warned that he could be left with serious brain damage if he doesn’t kick the habit immediately.
The shocking video that was shared online showed the little boy puffing away while his parents were just standing there and watching. It caused a massive stir, and the family has since vowed to help Rapi ditch the nasty habit.
As we all know, smoking is not good for you, but Associate Professor of Public Health and Community Medicine at the University of New South Wales Colin Mendelsohn has issued a warning about the additional risks associated with smoking cigarettes at such young age.
“Animal studies have shown nicotine damages the developing brain. It can lead to permanent problems with brain functioning, emotional development, and other cognitive functions.
“All the other symptoms – heart disease, lung disease, cancer – will kick in at a much earlier age.
“What’s more, the younger kids start, the more dependent they become, so he will become addicted to that and primed for other addictions as well.” – he warned.
According to the family, Rapi began smoking after he started picking up used butts and in Sukabumi, Indonesia, and he quickly picked up the habit.
His mom Maryati, 35, says that after government officials visited them and helped them, Rapi is now smoke-free.
“Rapi has stopped smoking now and plays more with his toys.
I am very happy.
It was getting to a point where he was crying, begging for cigarettes, otherwise he would rampage, cry and pull his hair.
It started because he was taking cigarettes butts from the road, he said they are delicious.
The health department told me it can’t go on, but how can I change what he likes?
When I’m working he walks alone and finds them on the street.”
His dad, who is also a smoker, says that he cannot say no to Rapi when he asks for a cigarette. He also added that the 2-year-old also likes to have a cup of mochaccino when he smokes.
According to his mom, Rapi has not undergone a health check since he started the habit, but he is showing some worrying symptoms.
Let’s just hope that this poor little fella is alright and will enjoy the rest of his life as a non-smoker.