Letters To The Editor

“When you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot in it and hang on.” –Franklin D. Roosevelt

The hazards of passive smoking

Smoking is a major public health problem worldwide. There have been thousands of studies investigating the impact of active smoking on health, and the overall toxic effects of active smoking are generally recognised. In comparison, the effects of passive smoking on health are not fully understood. Existing studies suggest that passive smoking and active smoking might equally increase the risk of certain diseases. That said, over the years an alarming amount of cases have been reported where individuals who never smoked in their lives, unfortunately succumbed to various lungs and breathing ailments like cancer. Passive smoke exposure is associated with an increased frequency of asthma attacks, a possible increased risk of sudden infant death syndrome, an increased rate of respiratory infections in children under five years of age, an increased rate of diseases of the lower respiratory tract, acute irritant effects in the upper and lower respiratory tracts in adults, an increased risk of lung cancer, and a possible increased risk of death from coronary heart disease. This is particularly prevalent in workplaces, public spaces and even homes where a non-smoking person involuntarily inhales smoke from the active smoker’s cigarette. Passive smoking is a menace and an undeserved punishment to those who happen to be in the same room as an ‘active’ smoker. People should be made aware about the hazards of passive smoking and how it can threaten the lives of their loved ones. All persons who smoke should not expose nonsmokers, especially pregnant women and infants, to their cigarette smoke. Pediatricians should obtain a history of parental smoking and encourage smoking parents to restrict smoking in the home so that children are not exposed to its effects. In addition, doctors should encourage nonsmoking patients to assert their rights to smoke-free air when they frequent public places.

Saima Mughal,

Of load shedding and low voltage

With the development of society, the use of electricity has become more frequent and more diverse, from the original household electricity only for lighting, to the current air conditioning, cooking, computers, mobile phones and so on. However, electricity has also changed steadily with use. In some areas, the voltage is low, which causes the lights to be unable to illuminate, the air conditioner cannot be cooled, the computer often freezes and restarts, and the mobile phone cannot be charged. A series of low voltage problems result in frequent burning of electrical components or electrical equipment. A major reason for this low voltage is overloading. The afternoon is a time of high demand, so during this time, the voltage tends to decrease naturally. Apart from that, summer days also cause a scarcity of power because of over demand. A common reason for this is the air conditioners which take away much of the power. When the power corporation in the city identifies this huge demand, they quickly announce a reduction in power in respective regions. This results in diminishing voltage or voltage fluctuation. Needless to opine, this diminishing voltage causes the lights to become dim, flicker, and most often destroy home appliances. And while Karachiites were just getting accustomed to the frequent load shedding in many areas, more power woes awaited them. After prolonged hours of power cuts, many residents complain about persistent low voltage, followed by breakdowns of power transformers. This has led to the malfunctioning of home appliances and other electronic devices. As the frequency of these complains mount in number, KESC has stopped processing complaints in this regard, demonstrating an irresponsible attitude towards the situation. Citizens hope the problem will be tackled at the earliest without the situation getting further deteriorated.

Junaid Khan,