Frieke Janssens was shocked when she saw a video of a chain-smoking two-year-old in Indonesia. This in turn inspired her to create the “Smoking Kids” photo series, featuring children dressed like adults – an actress, a boss, a housewife and more – and posing like smokers, cigarette or pipe in hand. The project makes you consider the cultural significance of smoking and how it impacts children. If we can’t escape it, do they even stand a chance?
Janssens does a variety of photo projects, some personal, some for advertising. Oh, and don’t worry. The children that took part in the project, all aged between four and nine years old, are too young to smoke; the shoot contained no real tobacco. The kids used cheese and chalk sticks instead of cigarettes, and the smoke was provided by incense sticks, which, we can all agree, smell a lot nicer.