Sydney’s current air quality is the equivalent of smoking a pack-and-a-half of cigarettes, putting residents in danger of developing a pack-a-day habit.

According to a cigarette index measuring levels of toxic air, as reported by the Daily Telegraph, breathing in the smoke-filled air covering the state is like dragging on a cigarette all day.

According to the publication, the NSW Department of Environment data showed the highest polluted areas of Sydney, in the southwest, registered 680 PM2.5. This is in stark contrast to the city’s normal air pollution reading of five to eight PM2.5.

University of Sydney respiratory diseases scientist Dr Brian Oliver told the Daily Telegraph that people with heart conditions, asthma and pregnant women should take extra caution. While the smoke won’t cause a heart attack, if somebody is on the verge of having one, these conditions could provoke them.

Cigarette Index (NSW Air Quality)


The equivalent to how many cigarettes you’re smoking in each region

Illawarra: 2 cigarettes
Sydney’s North West: 3 cigarettes
Coffs Harbour: 15 cigarettes
Port Macquarie: 17 cigarettes
Sydney’s East: 19 cigarettes
Lismore: 20 cigarettes
Sydney’s South West: 34 cigarettes

Source: Daily Telegraph