Why size does matter ― Rashidi Mohamed Pakri Mohamed

SEPTEMBER 10 — What’s all the fuss with the size of a pack of cigarettes one might wonder.

If you are a parent and hopes for a better future for your children, please read on. Even if you are not a parent, please read on.

Chances are you might be a Malaysian parent who spends an average of RM109,470 on your child’s education from primary school up to university undergraduate level and you are among the 82 per cent of parents in Malaysia who are confident that their child will have a bright future.

Which brings us to the next issue on how much allowance would you give to your school-going children. A poll by website Dollars And Sense last year showed the average daily allowance was S$2.10 (RM6.57) in lower primary school and S$3.10 in upper primary school among Asians. However, the amount children receive per day varies. According to a study on money awareness, children were found to be good observers and in the early phase of their lives they are highly influenced by parents, school, teachers and their peers. Children not only participate in grocery shopping with their parents but they also did some purchase from the supermarket of their own choice. This puts the children in a delicate situation where they learn from examples or from influences.

Which brings us to the main issue which is the re-introduction of the kiddie or mini pack for cigarettes in Malaysia which was banned many years ago. A study by National Cancer Society Malaysi found that 85 per cent of male students starts smoking between the age of 13-17 years old. This is with the current cigarettes price of RM17 per pack.  Introducing a more affordable pack such as a mini pack or kiddie pack will only jeopardise your children. Terms may confuse you but the reality is the affordability that will be the main issue.

Efforts are being done by the Government but we as parents will have to play our role. We must educate our children in such a manner that they possess good knowledge of money and how to spend it wisely without risking their lives and future.

Don’t let your children get trapped at a very young age.

* This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of Malay Mail Online.

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