This is with reference to the article, ‘Smokers say they are not worried by rise in prices of some popular cigarette brands’. Price rise may be insignificant for smokers, but the health risk smoking causes is significant indeed! Sorry, if I am sounding a little harsh, but I feel smokers match up to rash drivers who not only put themselves to danger, but also those on the roads. Smoking can kill you as well as those around (passive smoking). It is a known fact that hundreds of thousands of people die around the world due to diseases caused by smoking.

Tobacco consumption causes various types of cancers. Smoking can lead to heart attack and stroke. The list of diseases is too long. Smokers and teenagers should be aware that the habit kills. Those who smoke regularly should try to quit while youngsters should not even make an attempt to smoke. Every cigarette packet comes with the statutory warning, ‘Smoking is injurious to health’. I have come across a wonderful installation in Al Khuwayr, set up in the interest of public health. It says, ‘Smile, you are not a smoker!’ which I captured on camera to share with Muscat Daily readers. I feel it could have been captioned as ‘Sure survival, ‘cause you are not a smoker!’

G V K Durga Ravi

Via e-mail


Trouble in the region

This refers to the media report that there is no end to the onslaught on Kurd civilians despite a combined strike on several militant targets in Syria. No religion or belief would support the killing of innocent civilians. This needs to be stopped at any cost, for which a combined effort is desperately needed.

I think, based on previous experience, the West has understood the high risks involved in a ground battle. There have been a lot of challenges in engaging in a war with an organisation that is spreading its wings across the region where guns have never fallen silent in the past decade and more. A ground battle involves plenty of logistical issues, which they have clearly understood from the Gulf War that ignited many of the prevailing issues in the region. The spread of the conflict needs to be tackled, accordingly. It is absolutely true that any half-hearted attempt would be counter-productive, as the rivals only understand the language of either killing or being killed. Ignoring all the basics of confrontations, this is one of the key concerns and entirely different from any conflict of the past several decades.

The fact is that a group led by an uncivilised squad never bothers to listen to the hue and cry of the world, but follows an entirely different portfolio and ignores the fundamentals of respecting humanity. At the same time, the world is still unable to understand the agony of several thousands of ordinary people – women and children in particular – suffering in the border states of the warring countries. How can a moderate world continue to ignore them?