RECENTLY I visited Pakistan as a part of a delegation for a joint conference in Karachi between Dow University of Health Sciences and the Association of Physicians of Pakistani descent of North America (APPNA).
During the visit I had an opportunity to spend some time at a most noted hotel in Karachi. However, I was appalled at the disgusting level of exposure I had to secondhand smoke there. Despite the scrumptious meal that was being served, I left the place much concerned about the health risks I had been exposed to. I felt sad to see educated people openly smoking openly in restaurants without realising the fact that exposure to passive smoke is a proven risk factor for not only lung cancer and heart attack but several other diseases.
While the world leaps a mile forward, we are still ignorant about the detrimental effects of secondhand smoking. We all are much aware of how deadly smoking can be — its consequences ranging from COPD to Pneumonia.
However, breathing in someone else’s smoke can be equally damaging too. Thus Since the common man cannot be blamed for his breaths, it’s extremely important to separate him from the culprit running loose at all public places, including these high class restaurants. I do appreciate the efforts these five-star hotels put in for their maintenance. But their delicious menus, grand decorations and exotic furnishing are meaningless if they keep their clients close to deadly health risks.
Dr Zeenat Safdar,
Pulmonary fellowship programme
Houston Methodist Hospital
Published in Dawn January 11th, 2017