I am extremely disturbed as I bring your attention to the following case I witnessed while at a grocery shop in Discovery Gardens.
There were two children running around the store alone. The girl seemed to be about five years old, while her brother looked about three years old.
They came up to the cash counter where I was paying for my items.
The girl asked for a pack of cigarettes from a specific brand as well as some other items. She gave money to the shopkeeper, who handed her the pack of cigarettes.
I was shocked and asked the shopkeeper why he sold the cigarettes to the young girl. He said they were meant for her father. I countered that it’s illegal in the UAE. The shopkeeper sheepishly acknowledged that he would not sell cigarettes to children next time.
I called 999 to report and they advised me to call the Dubai Municipality at 800900.
The UAE has laws and an honest and sincere and progressive government. Irresponsible fathers, who send their children to buy cigarettes, should be shamed and punished.
It’s bad enough to smoke in front of your children, but it’s shameful to send your five-year-old to buy cigarettes for you.
— This reader is based in Dubai.
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