In a shocking turn of events, it was revealed that an eight year old Indonesian child is a chain smoker. Without a shadow of a doubt, this news is shocking and has succeeded in shaking the very foundations of the human society, yet the fact remains that such an act is being rampantly followed amongst young adolescent teens in Indonesia. It is a well known fact that Indonesia houses over 237 million individuals and this country is ranked third after china and India, in terms of the highest number of smokers in the world. This figure was provided by the World Health Organization.

According to a report that was published by the Health Ministry, 34% of the total Indonesian population is known to be smoking cigarettes and most of the smokers belong to the teenage category. As per Arist Merdeka Sirait, who also happens to be the chairperson of the National Child Protection Commission, “The levels of smoking in Indonesia have reached an all time high and this in turn calls for some stringent action on the part of the government. This is a crucial time wherein parents as well as children need to be made aware of the ill effects of tobacco cigarettes.”

As per media persons, Hadi, who happens to be an eight year old child residing in the province of West Java, smokes two packs of tobacco cigarettes on a daily basis. It has been reported that Hadi started smoking cigarettes when he was barely four years old and now, he requires a constant dose of two cigarettes packs daily. As per his father Umar, the child does not wish to attend school and he spends most of his day smoking and playing with other children. It has also been reported that many other children of similar age groups, smoke cigarettes daily. It has also been revealed that Aldi Rizal, a two year old child, smokes cigarettes daily. When this news was released by the media, it became an internet hit and drew considerable world attention.

As per the government spokesperson, almost 29% of all Indonesians above the age of ten, smoke cigarettes. On an average, each of these individuals smokes over 12 cigarettes daily. It was also reported that 0.1% of the total smoking population in Indonesia is under the age of five years. Almost 10% of all smokers in Indonesia fall in the age group of 10 to 14 years. The government of Indonesia has now started to consider enforcing stringent laws, which include a proposed ban on the advertisement of tobacco products. Nonetheless, this move has been strongly opposed by the tobacco farmers as well as the tobacco manufacturers. Hence, such an act is yet to be imposed by the Indonesian government.

According to Agung Laksono, who also happens to be the Social Affairs minister, “If strict laws are imposed on tobacco manufacturers, then countless individuals would lose their jobs.” As per the latest statistical reports, over 400,000 people lose their lives annually owing to cigarette smoking. According to the National Commission on Tobacco Control, over 70% of all cigarette smokers in Indonesia belong to the low income group. On the other hand, most of the affluent families were not smoking cigarettes so often. In fact, smoking happened to be on their least priority list.