Muscat: Some families in Oman have begun to notice candy shaped like cigarettes being sold to children in Muscat.
The sweets, which look like cigarettes, do not list tobacco-related ingredients on their ingredients list but their packaging looks similar to some tobacco brands, which means that these ingredients could make the idea of smoking more appealing to children in the future.
Muscat Municipality has said that it should be informed when these cases occur in order to investigate any such incidences.
A spokesman for Muscat Municipality told Times of Oman, "Should these activities be observed, people can call us to report the incident with all details and the location and we will do what is needed."
Saleh Al Harthy, a resident of Wilayat Al Seeb, told Times of Oman about his own experience with these sweets, where children would eat them and then pretend to be smokers.
Al Harthy told Times of Oman: "We have a Whatsapp group for the families in our neighbourhood, through which we were sent an image of the candy being sold here."
"The parent who sent it saw children pretending to be smokers, standing right outside the grocery store," he added.
The parents were shocked to find out that these sweets were being sold to their sons and daughters, and that they appeared to encourage children to pretend to smoke.
Saleh went to confront the owner of the store about the sweets and their danger to children.
"I alerted the owner of the grocery store, who said that they were only sweets. But then I explained to him that these sweets have an impact on the future behaviour of children, and this made the difference.
"The owner of the store listened to me and he removed the sweets from his store immediately. This occurred last Saturday, in Al Mawaleh," Saleh said.
The incident made a large impact but despite the fear for the children's health, Saleh said that he didn't hold a grudge against the store.
"In this case I'd prefer not to speak out about the exact location of the store, especially since the shopkeeper listened to our opinion and removed the product from his store," he said.