OUTLOOK — By Ali Al Matani — There are many new emergent phenomena that has appeared in our society due to the developments in contemporary life. Some of these phenomena have had negative effects that should be treated with due care and attention before they exacerbate in our community and turn into a severe problem.
A clear example of these phenomena is that some groceries, shops and kiosks sell cigarettes to the children or adolescents. This practice poses a great danger to these immature minds and may encourage the start of grave behavioural deviations. Therefore, we have to strictly monitor these emerging phenomena and set some disciplines and rules to control them.
Undoubtedly, selling cigarettes to the children is a crime committed by some individuals against the whole community. This act can be considered as an aggression and encroachment on the ethical and professional responsibilities that should be observed by every trader or shop owner as part of the matters that should normally be taken into consideration on a very high level.
These practices could encourage the young people to smoke and go further in their odious and dangerous habit that poses many dangers and harmful effects on health and could be the beginning of severe addiction. The people who engage in such trade malpractices could be held guilty of encouraging the young people to engage in performing many bad behaviours related to addiction.
Children who engage in such activities are normally influenced by the macho advertisements shown on TV and other media extolling the virtues of buying and consuming brands of these harmful items. Selling packs of cigarettes at low prices to the children and adolescents is a practice adopted by many kiosks and grocery shops. This must be stopped through close monitoring.
The lack of supervision and follow-up by the respective authorities on this matter is a problem in itself. This encourages such shops to persist in committing their acts as selling more of the dangerous items are
only a matter business for them.
The absence of clear measures that prohibit selling of these products to children and adolescents have contributed in allowing traders to sell cigarettes without any supervision.
In the developed countries, there are strict laws and frameworks that hinder selling cigarettes to the children and adolescents under the age of eighteen. The same applies to alcoholic beverages due to its dangers.
In these countries, the grocery shops ensure the ages of young people by checking their civil ID cards for fear of severe punishments. This indicates the extent of social responsibility undertaken by the respective authorities and the owners of shops and stores to fight this phenomenon through the laws and regulations that orient the behaviours of the individuals and the community towards the public interest.