TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The world was once stunned by the story of 2-year-old toddler Rapi Ananda Pamungkas who was known for his premature smoking habits, which was covered by both Indonesian and international media.
Fortunately, following the viral video of Rapi smoking, the so-called ‘baby smoker’ is now no longer addicted to smoking cigarettes.
Head of the ‘no tobacco community’ Bambang Priyono had the chance to dig deeper into Rapi Ananda’s story and visited his house in Cibadak, Sukabumi.
“Initially, this kid started from picking up the used cigarette filters spread across the front yard of his house. That was when he started picking up his addiction toward cigarettes,” said Bambang in the ‘Baby Smoker’ press conference in Jakarta today, August 21.
Furthermore, Bambang discovered that Rapi’s condition was unwittingly influenced by his father’s smoking habit, added with the fact that his mother owns a kiosk that also sells cigarettes. No wonder that there were numerous cigarette filters laying all over the place.
These used filters that are basically trash were the objects that Rapi started to smoke. Rapi had also developed an awareness toward cigarette advertisements even though the ads never blatantly show the product.
Once a cigarette ad is broadcasted, Rapi would persistently throw a tantrum before obtaining a cigarette. Bambang further explained; “Regarding the number of cigarettes that Rapi smokes, it is actually not even close to 40 as news agencies have reported. I asked his parents and it is actually five cigarettes. But his father said that Rapi can go on and smoke 40 cigarettes if Rapi’s tantrum is adhered to.”
After the video of Rapi smoking went viral, his father Misbabhudin (36) decided to quit smoking altogether and even asked people to not smoke in the vicinity of his house. Bambang said that Rapi had also entirely dropped his smoking habit, especially since Rapi was given other stimulus in the form of toys. Previously, Rapi had owned zero toys.
“The creativity of Rapi’s parents in giving Rapi toys is proved crucial so that the child will entirely forget about the urge to smoke,” said Rita Pranawati, Deputy of The Indonesian Child Protection Commission (KPAI).