Chain-smoking 8-year-old to undergo therapy

March 16, 2012
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JAKARTA, Indonesia – Ilham, an 8-year-old Indonesia boy who smokes about 25 cigarettes a day, will leave his village in Sukabumi, western Java, for Jakarta to undergo a month of therapy to kick his four-year-old habit.

"You can see a dramatic change of behaviour when he doesn't have a cigarette for a while. He becomes emotionally aggressive and uncontrollable," Child Protection Commission Chairman Arist Merdeka Sirait said Friday (March 16th).

According to a 2006 World Health Organization (WHO) report, Indonesia has the world's highest percentage of young smokers, with 37% of high school and university students saying they smoked.

The report also found that 25% of children between 3 and 15 had tried smoking. Of Indonesia's 240 million citizens, 89 million are smokers.

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