App converts B.C. air quality to cigarettes smoked

Residents in one B.C. community may smoke up to 28.2 cigarettes Wednesday

With a thick blanket of wildfire smoke covering many parts of the province, many people have begun to worry about the long-term health impacts of the haze.

But just how bad is it?

People living near Fort Saint James in the north-central area of B.C. will smoke 28 cigarettes Wednesday – even non-smokers.

That’s according to the app Sh**t! I Smoke, designed to convert air quality around the world to cigarette smoking.

The app, available in the App Store and Google Play, measures the air quality in daily cigarettes. The number is then shareable through social media.

According to the designer Amaury Martiny, the app was inspired by Berkeley Earth’s findings of the equivalence between air pollution and cigarette smoking. According to the app, the rule of thumb is one cigarette per day is the rough equivalent of a PM2.5 level of 22ug/m3 .

In a survey of regions around the province, people living near the Regional District of East Kootenay will smoke 4.4 cigarettes today. In the Comox Valley on Vancouver Island, residents will inhale 7.6 cigarettes. Garnering a ‘WTF!’ reaction, those living near the Fort Saint James Airport will smoke 28.2 cigarettes.

By comparison, in one of the most polluted cities in China – Xingtai – residents will smoke 2.8 cigarettes.

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