Japanese ciggie vending machines demand ID

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Japanese tobacco-smokers must get themselves a special puffing passport if they wish to get their fix from the nation’s ciggie vending machines. From Wired:

“The legal smoking age in Japan may be 20, but schoolgirls in need of a nicotine fix have always had an easy workaround: “Vending machines can’t tell if you’re 16,” says Haruka Narazaki, a student in Osaka.”

Well, now they can. But do they eye older buyers suspiciously when they grab 5 packs at once, while their banned teenage friends watch from a safe distance?

Japanese Schoolgirl Watch: Tobacco Vending Machines Block Underage Smokers [Wired via Oh Gizmo!]

Update: Our Antinous writes: “It turns out that you can fool the software by simply holding up a magazine photo of someone who fits the profile. In one case, a picture only three inches wide was enough to fool the software. I wonder if there’s a black market for photos of the elderly yet.” [Pink Tentacle]

This entry was posted in Consumption, japan, vending. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Japanese ciggie vending machines demand ID

  1. Qozmiq says:

    This has been the standard in Germany and I believe the whole EU(Bueller? Anyone? Anyone?) for some time. What whats odd here, is that you have to put in your smart card ID, but it will not accept digital payment, nor can non German citizens by tobacco out of them. With EVERYTHING shut down on Sundays and Holidays(14 national holidays in Bavaria), you see alot of seriously jonesing tourists at the Hauptbahnhof. I like to tie ciggys to a string and lead them down the pipeline…

  2. Anonymous says:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/7395910.stm

    apparently they also have wrinkle recognition software :-) to determine the age of the prospective smoker!
    :-)

  3. Anonymous says:

    I’m surprised they finally changed this. Those cigarette vending machines were great, and I miss them here in the States. Though as a foreigner, they never carded me went I went into 7/11 to buy cigs or beer, despite being underage.

  4. Downpressor says:

    Dont be surprised if this pork barrel giveaway to the RFID industry gets scuttled. Seems that even though this has been announced and publicized for at least the last 6 months and the applications to buy your TASPO smoker’s ID card have been attached to all existing vending machines since January, the take up rates have been almost immeasurably low according to official reports.

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