Is This Child Abuse?

Yep. That's a baby smoking a cigarette on his little, red, plastic fire truck. When we first saw the images of the "smoking baby," two-year-old Indonesian Ardi Rizal, we thought it might be a hoax. But. It. Isn't. Little Ardi smokes 40 cigarettes a day, a habit that has already taken a toll on his health: the overweight little boy is unable to run around with the other children his age.

Was this the result of a joke gone wrong? Did the parents chuckle to friends, "Look at what the baby will do!" and then find themselves with a 2-pack-a-day problem on their hands? His 26-year-old mother, Diana, feels unable to stop him (despite offers from local officials of a car if they get Ardi to quit smoking) because he throws tantrums if he doesn't get his fix. His father, on the other hand, does not see a problem, given that the boy "looks" healthy.

It makes us feel a smidge better about kids playing video games here in the States, but we just can't imagine how this happens. We think this is bordering on child abuse: however the child got started, there must be a way to ween him off this habit and get him back on a healthy track.

What do you think? Is allowing Ardi to smoke abusive?

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