QUICK TAKE China’s growing deadly addiction By Hannah Beech


Developed by Benjamin Hubert of U.K. design studio Layer, the app will track users’ daily carbon footprints using a Fitbit-like device that measures everything from your restaurant order to how far you walk to the lights you use at home (which it will remind you to turn off).


Worldbeing aims to launch in
2017, with plans to link the
software to retailers, enabling
users to estimate their output in
advance. “The longer you use it
for, the more attuned it becomes
to your lifestyle,” says Hubert.


The developers hope the app will
serve as a social network in which
friends can urge one another to
fight climate change. The goal,
they say, is “empowering you to
make better decisions.”


Green piece

If you want to reduce your carbon footprint, which should you buy at the grocery store, an apple or a banana? A wearable app called Worldbeing, currently in development, aims to answer that question and others that might cross an eco-conscious mind.

—Julie Shapiro



Stealing may be just
a phase, according
to research by
economist Geoffrey
Fain Williams of
Transylvania University.
His study reveals that
a surprising number
of young people have
nabbed something for
nothing—but they’re
not usually repeat


Proportion of the 8,000
teens and young adults
surveyed who reported
stealing something in
the past year


Median value of a theft;
since it was under
$50, researchers
considered it
petty theft


Proportion of males
who reported stealing,
vs. 1 in 10 females;
Williams writes that the
numbers may reflect
the social stigma of


Age when most young thieves tend to stop their pilfering habits


Percentage of young people who continue to steal for more than a year. Why do they stop? They realize the risk or attain emotional maturity, according to researchers.

—Tanya Basu

TO LIVE IN CHINA, HOME TO MORE THAN 300 million smokers, is to marinate in a haze of tobacco fumes. Now a new study pub­lished in the medical journal the Lancet has found that to live in China is, all too often, to die from cigarette smoke. By 2050, smoking could lead to 3 million deaths a year in China, and if rates don’t fall, at least half of Chinese males could eventually die from their nico­tine habit—what the Lancet calls a “growing epidemic of premature death.”

Although smoking is declining worldwide, two-thirds of Chinese men light up, according to the study. (A relatively small fraction of Chi­nese women smoke.) And while luxury-ciga­rette cartons are a common gift during Chinese holidays, an average pack costs little more than a dollar. Even the poorest Chinese can afford to
smoke. And why shouldn’t they? Cigarette com­panies advertise in schools and health clinics.

The Chinese government knows it has a medical crisis on its hands, even if many Chi­nese men still consider smoking an accept­able social rite. As of this summer, smoking was banned in public indoor spaces in Bei­jing, a prohibition that is not always enforced. Still, the world’s largest tobacco company, China National Tobacco Corp., which churns out more than 2.5 trillion cigarettes a year for dozens of domestic brands, is owned by none other than the Chinese government. In fact, 7% of the state’s revenue comes from tobacco. That’s an addiction that may be even harder to quit than smoking.

Beech is TIME’S China bureau chief

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