Disturbing video footage of a little girl puffing at a cigarette has emerged from Finland, where smoking laws are among the strictest in the world. However, some parents thought it would be amusing to videotape their 2 or 3-year old daughter inhaling a cigarette. Whether the cigarette is real or not is only half of the worry—the other half being that the parents aren’t putting a stop to it either way.
The footage has made its way around the web and is causing public outrage around the globe. In the video, the little girl can be seen expertly holding what looks like a real cigarette and taking multiple puffs, even pausing to inhale, then breathing out dark smoke. The lack of her coughing might indicate that the cigarette is not real, but the point is that she is learning how to smoke and no one is stopping her.
In 2010, Finland adopted a new tobacco act to completely ban smoking and is the first country to do so. According to Xinhua News, the purpose of the tobacco act is to prevent, in particular, children from smoking. The act restricts selling and supplying tobacco to children under the age of 18—this goes for shops and private persons. Those caught selling or giving cigarettes to minors will be given a fine or sentenced to prison for a maximum of 6 months.
The news source adds that “persons under 18 years old are banned to import and possess tobacco products… Sellers of tobacco products must be aged 18 years in the future.” The act also prohibits tobacco products and their trademarks “being displayed in retail stores.”
For such a strict act, these parents don't seem to be taking it seriously. And even if there wasn't a law, it is widely known how unhealthy it is to smoke cigarettes, so why allow your child to even pretend?
You can view the video footage below: