Five-year-old Ardian Azka Mubarok smokes at his home on March 27, 2015.
Perhaps you’ll recall that viral video a few years back of an obese Indonesian toddler chain-smoking cigarettes like a nicotine fiend. Some found it “funny” to see such a young kid puffing away like an old pro. Others were shocked and appalled. I mean, how could a toddler be a chainsmoker?! But the thing is, apparenlty seeing young children smoking is a very common sight in Indonesia and “public-health activists describe the country as a ‘playground’ for big tobacco companies like Philip Morris, which makes the country’s No. 2 cigarette.”
Young smokers begin the cycle of addiction but at a health cost for generations to come. The juxtaposition of young boys smoking like seasoned addicts is jarring yet this project is intended to not only shock and inform viewers but to demonstrate the lack of enforcement of national health regulations and to question the country’s dated relationship with tobacco.
Photographer Michelle Siu captured this dark phenomenon with photographs. The series is called “Marlboro Boys.”
Students on a public bus.
Five-year-old Ardian Azka Mubarok easily purchases a cigarette which he will smoke near his home.
Eman smokes while clutching a bag of juice.
More after the jump…