An eight-year-old boy who smokes 40 cigarettes a day is to receive therapy to help him kick his four-year habit.
Ilham Umar, who lives in Indonesia, erupts into a violent rage and smashes windows if he is not supplied with his cigarettes, his father Umar told the Antara news agency.
He said: “He doesn’t want to go to school anymore. He spends his whole day smoking and playing.”
A spokesman for Indonesia’s Child Protection Commission told AFP: “You can see a dramatic change of behaviour when he doesn’t have a cigarette for a while. He becomes emotionally aggressive and uncontrollable. He acts like he’s possessed by evil spirits.”
Umar will begin receiving intensive specialist care in the capital on Monday, the Jakarta Globe reported.
Research carried out by the Commission, in conjunction with Jakarta University found an astonishing two per cent of Indonesian children start smoking at the age of four.
According to a World Health Organisation report from 2006, Indonesia has the world’s highest percentage of young smokers with more than 37 per cent of high school and university students admitting to the habit.
The same report found 25 per cent of children between the age of three and 15 had smoked.