Beijing beats the smog by selling "fresh air in a can"

Emma Sleight
Trouble with Toxic Fog? Try China's Fresh Air in a Can
Trouble with Toxic Fog? Try China's Fresh Air in a Can

Beijing is full of smog - and until now the only hope of avoiding it has been to wear a face mask.

But one Chinese entrepreneur believes he has found another solution: by selling cans of "fresh air".

They look like cans of soft drink, cost 5 yuan a go (about 50p) and come in three unique flavours: 'Post-industrial Taiwan' 'Revolutionary Yan'an' and the refreshingly named 'Pristine Tibet.'

While this might sound like a crazy publicity stunt (and a bit of a rip off to boot), the product's millionaire creator, Chen Guangbiao, is convinced that even if the cans have no real health discernable benefits, they will help to raise awareness of China's growing environmental problems.

The Chinese capital has become infamous for its terrible air quality in recent years. The smog has delayed flights, hidden landmarks and sparked countless health warnings.

According to the state-run People's Daily newspaper, China's air quality hasn't been this bad since 1954 and a staggering 24 days out of the first 29 in January 2013, it reached 'hazardous' on the Air Quality Index scale.

Chen Guangbiao has backed up his eco-conscious approach by giving away 5,000 bicycles in attempt to get people out of cars and into the saddle.

He told ABC News that he was serious about tackling health issues and said: "If we don't pay attention to environmental protection, in 10 years everyone of us will be wearing gas masks and carrying oxygen tanks on the streets."

One thing's for sure: the cans of fresh air will also be popular with souvenir hunters. In San Francisco, you can buy cans of their world famous fog, while in Hong Kong, "flavoured fresh air" is already on sale. For more weird and wonderful souvenirs from around the world, see our galelry below...