Big Tobacco Shares the Blame for This

Industry has made smoking a national pastime in Indonesia
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 27, 2010 2:14 PM CDT

Chances are, you've heard about the video of the toddler in Indonesia puffing away on a cigarette like an old pro. Yes, it's an outrage to our sensibilities here in the West, and, yes, the kid's parents either don't know or don't care about the dangers. But while we're issuing blame, let's not forget Big Tobacco, which "rides roughshod over the public health interest" in Indonesia (where 60% of men smoke) and elsewhere in the developing world, writes Mary Elizabeth Williams.

"A child's welfare is still first and foremost his parents' responsibility," she writes at Salon. "But before we get too comfortable in the knowledge that we'd never even expose our own babies to cigarettes, let alone hand them a pack, maybe we can redirect a little of that indignation toward a profitable industry that's worked so hard to pour smoke down those little lungs." (More smoking stories.)

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