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15 Shocking Images of Kids Smoking — Artful or Awful?

Frieke Janssens

Will these images shock or educate, or both?

Is there really a romantic, glamorous side to smoking? Photographer Frieke Janssens might actually kinda sorta make you think so as she attempts to answer some questions with a series of melancholic, theatrical and, of course, controversial photos of smoking children.

Kids aged 4 to 9 are depicted Old Hollywood-style enjoying smoking (although rest assured they weren’t actually smoking). Frieke felt that “seeing children smoke would have a surreal impact on the viewer and compel them to truly see the acts of smoking rather than making assumptions about the person doing it.”

The images were released around the time a general smoking ban was introduced in Belgium a few months back, and have evoked questions such as: “is the smoking ban the right way to get rid of an absurd addiction and are smokers treated like kids who [don't know] the difference between good and bad,” according to the website ilovebelgium.be.

Frieke was initially inspired by the infamous Indonesian toddler with a 2-pack-a-day habit, and the subsequent Western reaction (shock!) vs. the Eastern reaction (yawn!).

Do you think these images make smoking look beautiful? Do they effectively highlight the absurdity of a smoking ban? Take a look and decide for yourself:


  • White Filter 1 of 15
    White Filter
    Like a young Katherine Hepburn.
  • Exhale Worries 2 of 15
    Exhale Worries
    Could be a Jolie-Pitt child if he weren't smoking, don't you think?
  • Cigarillo 3 of 15
    Cigarillo
    Looks like a silent film star from the '20s, no?
  • Pipe With Contempt 4 of 15
    Pipe With Contempt
    Dapper . . . except for the fact that he's smoking, although the smoking makes him look dapper. Yikes.
  • Belga Girl 5 of 15
    Belga Girl
    She looks like every little girl from the '70s. That is, if every little girl from the '70s smoked.
  • Ringlings 6 of 15
    Ringlings
    It's cute. Wrong, but cute.
  • The Gasper 7 of 15
    The Gasper
    This one is pretty believable. As in, I can believe a little boy would steal a puff from his dad's cigar.
  • Self Made 8 of 15
    Self Made
    You know this one is also capable of stealing nips of brandy from the liquor cabinet.
  • To The End 9 of 15
    To The End
    Yikes. On a few levels.
  • Unfiltered 10 of 15
    Unfiltered
    Poor girl looks stuck in a time warp from the early '60s.
  • The Bourgeoisie Holder 11 of 15
    The Bourgeoisie Holder
    Sadly pretty.
  • Fag Ash Lill 12 of 15
    Fag Ash Lill
    Like a young Marlene Dietrich.
  • No Lighter 13 of 15
    No Lighter
    Another yikes.
  • Classic Red 14 of 15
    Classic Red
    Like a young Grace Jones (which is yet another yikes).
  • The Chimney 15 of 15
    The Chimney
    You can smell him through the computer screen, can't you?

All images courtesy of ILoveBelgium.be

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