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Dad calls ban on smoking in units as daughter gets sicker

SECOND-HAND SMOKE: Chris Gould is worried about Leah Gould's breathing.
SECOND-HAND SMOKE: Chris Gould is worried about Leah Gould's breathing. Kevin Farmer

A TOOWOOMBA dad is concerned about his daughter's health as she struggles to breathe when cigarette smoke wafts into their home.

Leah Gould, 12, has always been asthmatic but in recent times it has become worse.

Her dad, Chris Gould, said since November Leah has gone from needing one asthma puffer to four stronger puffers.

Mr Gould said it was hard to get away from people smoking, despite new laws coming into place to stop smokers in certain areas.

"When you are out in public you can try and avoid it and Leah knows it can start up her asthma, so she stays away," he said.

"It is harder when the smoke is near your home.

"Living in units it's harder to get away from it when people around you smoke because you live there.

"Leah is coughing a lot of phlegm now because of the wafting smoke.

"I think new laws need to be introduced to stop people smoking in units. Second-hand smoke is so dangerous.

"At least the person smoking has a filter but people who are breathing in second-hand smoke are just totally exposed."

Mr Gould has put up tarps out the front of his house to attempt to block the smoke drifting in from outside but said it didn't work.

"We had to spend summer shut up with the windows and doors closed, it was so hot and we shouldn't have to live like that," he said.

"Our house reeks if we don't close up our home and Leah's breathing will just get worse the longer the smoking continues."

Cancer Council has urged the Queensland Government to enact a blanket-ban on smoking in units and apartments ahead of the next state election, following hundreds of community complaints on the issue.

Cancer Council Queensland CEO Chris McMillan called on the government to provide Queenslanders with greater protection against the harms of smoke-drift in units.

"We would like to see the government empower body corporates to ban smoking completely, by majority vote," she said.

"All Queenslanders deserve smoke-free homes, which includes protecting people living in units from smoke drift - particularly children and young people.

"There is no safe level of exposure to second-hand smoke. At least one Queenslander dies every week from passive smoking, having never smoked a cigarette in their life.

"In children it causes middle ear disease, respiratory symptoms and lower respiratory illness."

More information is available at cancerqld.org.au or 131120.

Topics:  editors picks smoking


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