The Asthma Foundation of Tasmania (AFT) is advising all people with asthma or other
respiratory illnesses in bushfire affected areas to ensure they take the necessary
precautions to protect themselves against elevated levels of high intensity smoke.
If people can see or smell smoke, it is a risk to their health and they need to ensure
they take the necessary precautions to protect themselves against it.
Those without their blue/grey reliever medication are advised supplies are available at
their local pharmacy. However, should they experience an uncontrollable asthma
attack they are asked to simply dial 000.
Exposure to wood smoke can trigger asthma symptoms such as wheezing, coughing,
chest tightness or shortness of breath.
Children, the elderly and people with breathing problems, including asthma, are the
first to feel the effects of smoke and particle pollution, which means they need to take
Asthma is a serious condition and if not managed properly, particularly in the current
circumstances, can be life threatening.
Where possible, asthma sufferers should:
o Stay indoors and keep windows and doors closed
o Minimise their physical outdoor activity
o If using an air conditioner or heat pump at home or in the car, set it to
o Try to minimise exposure to other irritants such as cigarette smoke and dust
o Make sure their blue/grey reliever medication is at hand.
Remember, if you can see or smell smoke it is a risk to your health.
If you are in an emergency situation or if you find breathing uncharacteristically
difficult, call 000 immediately.
Cathy Beswick CEO – The Asthma Foundation of Tasmania