Around 8-years ago, footage of a young boy from Indonesia chain smoking cigarettes went viral. Knowing the health risks associated with cigarettes, the world was in shock that a boy so young would smoke as many as 40 cigarettes a day. His nicotine addiction was out of control, and sadly many people in his Indonesian village helped promote his unhealthy ways.
Fortunately, Ardi Rizal was able to overcome his addiction thanks to a program offered by the Indonesian government. The viral footage of Ardi smoking actually promoted the government to crack down on childhood smoking.
To this day, people in his village still offer him cigarettes. His mother shared, “There are many people still offering Ardi cigarettes. But he says, 'I love [Dr.] Kak Seto. He would be sad if I started smoking again and made myself ill.'"
By age 5, long before the average person ever starts smoking, Ardi kicked his nicotine addiction to the curb. Unfortunately, Ardi switched out one addiction for another.
According to his mother, “When Ardi first quit smoking he would demand a lot of toys. He would bang his head on the wall if he couldn't get what he wanted. Now I don't give him cigarettes, but he eats a lot. With so many people living in the house it's hard to stop him from getting food."
After he quit smoking, Ardi’s weight soared to 52.9 pounds (24 kg). The average healthy weight for a 6-year-old boy is closer to 37 pounds (17 kg).
This is what Ardi looked like at age 6:
That’s not what Ardi looks like today. Ardi’s family helped him kick his food addiction to the curb and he now eats a more balanced diet. Today, Ardi is 10-years-old and he is virtually unrecognizable.
Now that’s an inspirational transformation!