Remember the Indonesian toddler who smoked as many as 40 cigarettes a day riding his tricycle? The pictures and videos of chubby 2-year old Aldi Rizal smoking cigarettes like a pro smoker broke the internet all over the world back in 2010. Aldi comes from a poor village in Sumatra, Indonesia. His addiction had started when he was just 18 months old and his father gave him his first cigarette.
Then villagers found him cute while smoking and gave him money to buy cigarettes. Aldi used to smoke while his mother sold fish at the market.
Though Aldi was able to quit the habit of smoking, life hasn’t been easy for him. After his videos and pictures went viral, Indonesian government provided him special rehabilitation. With the support he got, he managed to quit smoking but fell into the addiction for food.
Whenever Aldi felt the urge to smoke, he ate fatty and junk food in large quantities. If his mother asked to him to eat less, he would throw tantrums and threaten her to return to smoking. So she just let him eat whatever and however much he wanted.
When Aldi joined school, other children at school made fun of his huge lunch box. So he gradually began cutting down the portion of his meals. As a result, his weight came under control. His family also took help from professional nutritionist which proved to be of a great help for Aldi.
Now, seven years after he became the internet sensation worldwide, and four years of a strict diet, Aldi is much healthier. A student of grade four, he has also managed to excel at his school.
After Aldi’s smoking addiction came to light, Indonesian government launched a campaign to take on the issue of a number of children succumbing to the addiction of smoking in smaller villages of the country.