Japanese ciggie vending machines demand ID


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]

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