We all know that Singapore suffers from ‘haze’ from time to time; sometimes you can smell it, other times you can feel its effects. And although it has been three years since the air here reached ‘hazardous’ levels (PSI >300), what do air pollution stats really mean…compared to, say, a smoking a cigarette?
I have often wondered this and, thankfully, so has someone else, someone who has actually done something about it: check out the new app from Paris-based Marcelo Coelho who has converted the PSI into something we can all understand: cigarettes (and yes, seasoned haze-panickers, they do use PM2.5 as their overall measure). You may think you don’t smoke, but actually, if you live in a big city, the likelihood is that you do.
I even love the name of the app, “Shit I Smoke” and today, living in Central Singapore and not having had a cigarette for a good while, it turns out that by the end of today, I will have smoked 2.5 cigarettes (it would be 4 cigarettes if I lived in South Singapore). Whilst it also reads like a bit of a predictor for a big night out, I do love that it makes sense of the very air you breathe. Londoners on the other hand will have smoked 3 and New Yorkers 2. People living in New Dehli will have had an entire packet and the most of the population living in China’s most polluted city are inadvertently smoking 24 fags a day.
What’s also great is that by allowing certain, relevant companies to display banner ads on their free app, they have made a deal that gives them access to the readings of air pollution monitors in Sub-Saharan Africa (a place where accurate air pollution stats are almost impossible to obtain) … making them a real source of prized information, not just a gimmick. Download it for free on the app store, where it is listed as “Sh*t! I Smoke”