Remember The Chain Smoking Baby That Went Viral? Look At What He's Addicted To Now
Emily Malone September 26th 2017 Weird
Aldi Rizal, a boy from the Sumatra region of Indonesia, went viral across the internet when he was only 2-years old for his shocking cigarette addiction. The sight of such a young child smoking caused a huge outcry from around the world, and the Indonesian government heard it. Since then regulations on cigarettes have been tightened, and Aldi has kicked his cigarette habit!
However, the cycle of addiction is not so easy to beat and it looks like Aldi has moved on from cigarettes to another that, when done in excess, may be just as detrimental to your health as chain smoking. Aldi's new addiction is to food.
This is Aldi
Here you can see Aldi about a year after the time his photo first went viral on the rural Indonesian island of Sumatra where he lived in a one room hut with his mother and father. In this photo he just looks like any happy young cherubic child pictured with his mother.
Here Is Why Aldi Went Viral
Back in 2010 videos and images like this one first surfaced of 2-year old Aldi smoking cigarettes. Seeing such a young boy smoking even one cigarette is shocking enough to most living in countries with strict restrictions around the purchase and sale of cigarettes, but apparently this was not a one time event. According to his parents Aldi was smoking up to 40 cigarettes a day.
Images Of Aldi Shocked People Around The World
An uncommon sight to most, seeing a young otherwise apparently happy healthy boy chain smoking cigarettes disturbed viewers around the world. Photos of him smoking while playing with his toys were especially shocking because of the staunch reminder of his young age that they provided. Most countries have a minimum age in the late teens for cigarette consumption, at least 8x Aldi's age at the time of this photo.
As News Of Aldi Broke It Seemed Like He Was Almost Always Smoking
After Aldi's photo first surfaced news outlets and independent reporters from all over the world traveled to Indonesia to see him. Countless photographs of him were taken and many of them, such as the one above, were taken of him partaking in normal childhood activities like playing with toys. But in all of them the one standout item was a lit cigarette in his hand.
How Did He Pick Up The Habit?
In a 2011 ABC News interview with Aldi's mom Diana she is quoted as saying "Aldi began smoking after picking up a cigarette and giving it a try. It came naturally." This speaks to the prevalence of smoking in Indonesia, as kids are most often prone to learn new skills by imitating the behaviours they see the adults around them participating in.
Once Aldi Began There Was No Stopping Him
In the same 2011 interview Aldi's mother also disclosed that the addiction set in quickly, and it seemed as if there was no way to stop it. Reportedly once he had began smoking if she tried to withhold cigarettes from him when he wanted one he would react violently by banging his own head against a wall until he got another one.
Cigarettes Addiction Affects All Users
Even for fully grown adults cigarette addiction can be a serious problem. Nicotine is the addictive ingredient in tobacco, which is what cigarettes are made of, and there are hundreds of products sold in stores around the world marketed solely for breaking a nicotine addiction. Of course when a child begins to use nicotine products this addiction sets in just as intensely, if not more so because their bodies are smaller and less equipped to deal with substances.
Was Aldi Alone In His Addiction?
After the initial shock from the release of footage of Aldi, many people around the world were prompted to begin to question was Aldi the only kid with this addiction? As it turned out the answer was no, Aldi was not alone. Pictured above are other children smoking cigarettes that because of the cheap cost and relaxed regulation were easily accessible to them.
Even Not Alone, Aldi's Addiction Stood Out
Smoking 40 cigarettes a day, as Aldi was in 2010, is an unusually large amount of cigarettes even for an adult longtime smoker. This is equivalent to smoking around 2 whole packs a day. In her interview with ABC News Aldi's mother admitted that she was near her wits end with her son's extreme and seemingly unbreakable addiction.
To Break His Addiction Aldi Went To Jakarta
Aldi's family felt that they would be unable to break his addiction on their own, so they sought out professional help in Indonesia's capital city, Jakarta. Many therapists including Dr. Kak Seto met Aldi in play therapy sessions to teach him new habits that would help him shake his cigarette addiction. Dr. Kak Seto also met with Aldi's parents to teach them strategies they could use to help their son.
Therapy Was A Success!
Through the hard work of therapists, his parents, and Aldi himself he was able to slowly diminish and finally completely shake his cigarette addiction! Aldi's parents are very excited to be rid of this habit, and to make sure that he does not relapse into his old habits again they still go to visits on a regular schedule with the therapists Aldi saw in Jakarta.
Did Aldi Trade One Addiction For Another?
Despite shaking cigarette addiction, it turns out that addictive behaviour all together is not so easy to leave behind. According to a DailyMail article it looks that Aldi has traded his addiction to cigarettes to an addiction to food. As you can see in the photo above Aldi is quite large for his age, which at the time of this photo was 5-years old.
Mrs Rizal Is Worried About His Health
Understandably, Aldi's mother is concerned with this new addiction as much as his old. Not only does this show that Aldi has an addictive personality that will probably be a problem his whole life, but obesity can be life threatening. As a mother who wants the best for her son Mrs Rizal is hoping for her sons sake that they will find a way to bring his eating habits back to normal levels.
Obesity Can Be As Dangerous As Smoking
Right now in many parts of the world obesity levels, specifically in children, is considered to be growing at levels reaching to the point of being considered an epidemic. Overly processed and sweetened foods are at the center of this epidemic and that seems to be exactly what has gotten Aldi on the addiction cycle again. According to DailyMail's article he consumes almost exclusively packaged foods, frequently drinking up to three cans of condensed milk a day.
With The Help Of His Family, Hopefully Aldi Can Kick This Too
Aldi's family remains hopeful that with hard work this addiction too will soon be broken. Mr and Mrs Rizal have gone to see a nutritionist who has suggested ways to begin replacing Aldi's current diet with a new one to begin to promote healthy levels of weight loss. Addiction can be a tough beast to tame but we are wishing the best of luck to the whole Rizal family!