London, Mar 13 (ANI): An eight-year-old Indonesian boy reportedly smokes two packets of cigarettes a day and even gets angry if they are withheld from him.
The country's Child Protection Commission said that he highlights the government's failure to regulate the tobacco industry.
After food, cigarettes account for the second-largest household expenditure in the Southeast Asian country of 240 million people, where there is no minimum age for buying or smoking them.
The boy's father, a motorcycle taxi driver called Umar tells of his son's smoking habits.
"Ilham started smoking when he was four years old... his smoking habit grew day by day and now he can finish smoking two packs of cigarettes a day," the Telegraph quoted him as telling an Indonesian news agency.
Umar also revealed that the boy, who lives in a village in West Java provincial district of Sukabumi, would flare up in a rage and "smash glass windows or anything" if he was not given cigarettes.
"He doesn't want to go to school anymore. He spends his whole day smoking and playing," he said.
The government has increased excise taxes but prices remain extremely low by international standards, with a pack of 20 costing little more than a dollar.
Indonesia's Child Protection Commission chairman Arist Merdeka Sirait said the latest case further highlighted the government's failure to regulate the industry.
"This is yet another evidence showing the government has been defeated by the tobacco industry.
"The growing number of smokers are a result of the industry's aggressive marketing targeting young people," Sirait said.
The government makes about 7 billion dollars a year in excise taxes from the industry, which employs thousands of people on the island of Java.
According to the World Health Organisation, smoking rates have risen six-fold in Indonesia over the last 40 years.
Smoking kills at least 400,000 people in the country annually and another 25,000 die from passive smoking. (ANI)
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