Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Toddler Goes to Rehab to Break 40-a-day Habit

Some of you may remember this two-year-old with his 40-a-day habit.

True to form, the health puritans, having a misguided view of themselves as some sort of cavalier muskateers, here to rid the world of health threats - perceived or real - had to get involved for him to stop the habit.

Actually I don't think it's really such a bad thing, having a two-year-old weighing in at 4stone (or 56lbs for you Americans reading this) and smoking two packs a day is a pretty big red flag for lack of parental control or concern, or both. How serious the health risks are of his habit, I don't know; after all, the Semai children start smoking at two and it was found, of 12,000 adults studied, none had lung cancer.

Well the puritans got involved, predictably (what better way to strengthen their mantra of 'for the chiiiildren'?), and the kid went to rehab for a month. Oh, and it was all filmed...

They then showed him the next day as he rolled around on the floor screaming and crying as he threw a fit at being refused a cigarette.

I can understand why they'd want a toddler to stop smoking, but doesn't this reside under psychological abuse? I'm a little confused why they couldn't wean him off instead of cold turkey. The e-cig would have been perfect, but no prizes for spotting that wasn't used. Instead, he underwent "play therapy" to take his mind off smoking. I'll repeat that: play. Therapy. I'm beginning to wonder if that psychologist's degree was bought on eBay. I have no doubt he enjoyed playing with toys, and they probably helped distract him, but this is known as a diversion tool, not therapy.

THe report can be read in the Daily Mail.

This probably isn't the end of this saga, as we're also told

'This year, we found that there are baby smokers, who start from a year old,' admitted Aris Merdeka Sirait, CEO of the National Committee of Child Protection in Indonesia, stating that more than than 30 percent of children there smoke a cigarette before the age of 10.

As shown from the link above, this isn't a new trend at all, but as usual these 'protection' groups either relish dwelling in ignorance, or love a good scare story:

'Unhealthy children will be the future generation of our country. It is genocide.'

How's that for a moral panic?

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