The Smoking Baby: Where Is He Today?

"20/20" tracked down Aldi, the star of the infamous "smoking baby" viral video.

September 5, 2011, 7:25 PM

Sept. 7, 2011 — -- quicklist: 1category: The Smoking Babytitle: A YouTube Sensation For the Wrong Reasons url: text: Videos of cute babies doing adorable things are a staple on YouTube, but last year, one particular baby video went viral for all the wrong reasons: It showed a Aldi, two-year-old Indonesian boy, puffing away on cigarette after cigarette as his family looked on.

To date, the video has garnered more than 13 million views and provoked outrage. Would worldwide scrutiny of Aldi's dangerous habit bring change to the young boy's life? "20/20" traveled to the Indonesian island of Sumatra to find out.

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quicklist: 2category: The Smoking Babytitle: A Head-Banging Addictionurl: text: We met Aldi after driving deep into the countryside of Sumatra. At four years old, he is a rambunctious boy with cherubic cheeks and a devilish smile. He lives in a one-room hut with his mother and father.

His mother told "20/20" that Aldi began smoking after picking up a cigarette and giving it a try. It came naturally, he said.

When she tried to keep cigarettes from him, she said, he would bang his head on a wall.

"He's got scars on his forehead," she said.

But there's good news: Aldi did stop.

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quicklist: 3category: The Smoking Babytitle: Kicking the Habit?url: text: After the video of him smoking went viral, a local health official arranged to have Aldi sent to rehab in Indonesia's capital, Jakarta.

Now four-year-old Aldi says he's smoke-free... but quitting hasn't been easy for the boy or his parents. He says he misses smoking. His mother told "20/20" that sometimes he threatens to start smoking again if she doesn't buy him new toys.

There's also a danger that handouts from strangers will push Aldi off the wagon. Aldi's mother says that when they walk into town, people ply the boy with cigarettes. Recently, she said, she found him with a cigarette in his hand and he didn't want to let go.

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quicklist: 4category: The Smoking Babytitle: Aldi's Promiseurl: text: For now, Aldi says he won't go back to smoking. When ABC News correspondent Dan Harris asked him why, the boy's answer was simple: "I promise."

"20/20" showed Aldi the video that made him famous. Watching it for the first time, he told us he was happy to see himself on TV but sad to see a baby smoking.

Watch the full story on "20/20" online.

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