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Aldi Rizal transformed his life from smoker to a school champion.


Aldi Rizal transformed his life from smoker to a school champion.

Do you remember the two-year-old who was into to smoking? Indonesian boy Ardi Rizal shocked the world when his 40 smokes a day habit was revealed years ago. Now, the young boy has managed to turn his life around. But it has not been without difficulties, with Ardi developing a food habit when his food took him off cigarettes when he was five.

Years since the photos emerged of the chain-smoking Ardi, he has managed to quit the habit, lose weight and become a “champion” at his primary school. The boy from a remote village in Sumatra became an international concern following the backlash of a photo that showed the two-year-old puffing a cigarette while riding his bike.

With government intervention and the help of intensive specialist care, Ardi’s parents were able to take him off cigarettes, only to have his habit replaced with a lot of liking for food. “At first when we were weaning Ardi off the cigarettes he would have terrible tantrums. But he doesn’t want them now,” his mother Diane Rizal said four years ago.

Weighing 24kg by age five, Ardi made headlines again for being about 6kg above the ideal weight for a child his age. Ardi’s parents revealed that the habit started when Ardi’s father gave him his first cigarette when he was only 18 months old. By diverting his likes from cigarettes to food, Ardi’s love for junk food developed so quickly his parents had to seek the help of a nutritionist to fight his new habits.

Source: Google

Source: Google

Source: Google

Source: Google

"He would eat three chicken legs at one meal, three bowls of bakso (meatball soup) at once, one tin of condensed milk in the morning and one at night. If I said to eat less, he would throw tantrums and threaten to go back to smoking. So I just let him eat what he wanted. His weight got out of control then." - Ardi’s mom.

Source: Google

Source: Google

Source: Google

Source: Google

Now, with the help of Indonesia’s government and a nutritionist, Ardi has emerged as an addiction-free nine-year-old. Ardi, who consumed three cans of condensed milk a day, was restricted to a diet consisting of fresh fish, fruit, and vegetables to aid him in losing weight. After losing all the excess weight, the now healthy Ardi has managed to keep his habits at bay by focusing on excelling at school and finishing the fourth-grade.

Source: Google

Source: Google

Source: Google

Source: Google

Today, Aldi Rizal is already nine years old and he had already managed to keep himself away from cigarettes, and his addiction to junk foods. The best part is that he’s already considered as a school champion because of the way he excels at school.


"I kept watching people smoking and it looked delicious. It feels good when smoking. But now I think chocolate is better than smoking," - Aldi.

Source: Google

Source: Google

Source: Google

Source: Google

The reason for Ardi’s continued compulsions are unknown, but his parents blame the fact he is incredibly demanding. Mrs Rizal says she originally used cigarettes to appease Ardi, adding that she tried the same trick with food when he was showing signs of anger during his nicotine withdrawal. She also says that, due to the sheer number of people coming in and out of the family home, it is very difficult to prevent Ardi from taking food for himself.

Source: Google

Source: Google

Source: Google

Child smoking in Indonesia is a major concern, with up to 30% of the country’s 80 million children taking up the habit by age 10. 63% of Indonesia’s adult men smoke – the highest male smoking rate in the world - and in 2008 over 165 billion cigarettes were sold in the country.

Source: Google

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