Up in deadly smoke: Toowoomba a city of smokers

James Edwards, 30, has been smoking since he was 17.
James Edwards, 30, has been smoking since he was 17. Tara Miko

SMOKING costs Toowoomba man James Edwards, 30, upwards of $210 a week.

His pack-a-day habit is hitting him not just in his pocket, but his health, too.

"I haven't tried to quit before but health issues now kind of make me think about it," he said.

He is one of an alarming number of smokers in the Darling Downs.

Mr Edwards said he wasn't surprised at the Chief Health Officer report which found 17% of the region's population were smokers, which put it 26% above the state's average.

It also found the region was among the lowest in terms of risky alcohol consumption, sitting at 7% below the state's average.

He took up the habit when he was 17 and hasn't kicked it yet.

While he hasn't attempted to quit, he said price increases were a contributing factor to his changing mindset.

Should more be done to help smokers quit?

This poll ended on 28 November 2014.

Current Results

Yes

63%

No

36%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

"Basically I started (smoking) when I was dating someone who was a smoker," he said.

"I'm starting to think about it now, especially with the rising prices and health issues."

Mr Edwards spends about $30 a day on cigarettes, which blows out to a staggering $210 a week for the habit that he conceded was starting to give him health issues.

He listed breathing problems as chief among those concerns, as well as coughing.

"It's definitely on my bucket list," he said, referring to quitting.

Mr Edwards said he was not a big alcohol drinker.


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