BEIJING, June 23 (RIA Novosti) - A two and a half
year old Chinese boy from the city of Tianjin could be the
world's youngest smoker, China Radio International (CRI)
reported on Tuesday.
The child, identified as Tong Liangliang, was encouraged
to smoke by his father. Liangliang was born with a hernia, but
was too young for an operation. The father gave his son a
cigarette when he was 18 months to try and relieve his pain.
"The father wasn't aware how serious the toddler's habit
had become until the child began to increase the number of
cigarettes he smoked per day," CRI said.
Liangliang now smokes a pack of cigarettes a day and
refuses to quit. Every time he sees someone smoking, he asks
for a cigarette too and becomes agitated and angry if refused.
In 2005, a 37-year-old Chinese man submitted an
application to the Guinness Book of records, claiming he had
started smoking at the age of three and was the world's
youngest smoker. His application was denied on the grounds that
it promoted a harmful habit.