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Ardi Cuts Back But Not Without Help

Some people argue that psychosocial therapy is not the most effective way to treat an addiction. In the case of Ardi Rizhal, the 2-year-old Indonesian boy caught on film smoking cigarettes, he may be the exception to the rule. It’s hard to imagine, but before May of this year Ardi was up to two packs a day. He would throw a fit if his craving wasn’t satiated. This, along with his tendency to put cigarettes before food, water, or playing with other children, signaled his level of addiction to nicotine. According to Fox news, he received psychosocial therapy for one month, “during which therapists kept him busy with activities and encouraged him to play with children of the same age” says national commission for child protection secretary-general Arist Merdeka Sirait.

As far as Ardi’s parents are concerned, the only concept short of gross negligence I can concoct is that of the ignorance pass. Indonesia hosts an aversion to education on cigarette dangers, weak tobacco regulations, and aggressive marketing campaigns aimed at women and children. Out of necessity I have to believe Ardi’s father did not understand or receive education on the dangers of smoking when he let his son inhale tobacco into his lungs. Then again, part of me can’t fathom this possibility. Even the most ignorant person in the world has to ask themselves whether or not sucking smoke into their lungs rather than oxygen from the air is a healthy habit, tenfold for a small pair of young and developing pair of lungs like Ardi’s. I can’t quite garner the compassion to give Mr. Rizhal the full green light of innocence on this one, especially since his son’s video erupted into such a worldwide hit via Youtube. However, I’ll use this as an illustration of the indiscriminate nature of addiction — it’s insidious ability to cross age, race, gender, culture, and religion. This news story also serves as a reminder that up until children reach a certain age of reasoning and decision making, parents are responsible for keeping their children educated on and avoidance of highly addictive substances and behaviors.

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Filed under: Addiction, Latest News · Tags: 2 year old smoking, Ardi, Ardi Rizhal, Ardi's father, cigarette addiction, cut back cigarettes, Fox news, gross negligence, Indonesian baby, Indonesian tobacco regulation, national commission for child protection, nicotine, nicotine addiction, psychosocial therapy, Sirait, smoking baby, treat an addiction, two packs a day, YouTube

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    I’m pretty sure that at 2 years old, a child’s cognitive abilities are not capable of making reasonable decisions in the best interests of his/her health. This is why parents must “baby-proof” their homes, otherwise children would be ingesting non-food items; anything within reach. If the child’s parents aren’t to blame, then who should be accountable for a 2-year-old’s actions? The government? Did someone from the government find Ardi and physically put the cigarette in his mouth I wonder? Several of us here in the office are confused by your comment.