Vending machines are age aware

Policing the sale of goods such as cigarettes has been a constant problem, but in Japan where teenagers buy their cigarettes from vending machines, a system to make the machines age aware is now being rolled out across the country.

Apr 19, 2007
By David Howell

Policing the sale of goods such as cigarettes has been a constant problem, but in Japan where teenagers buy their cigarettes from vending machines, a system to make the machines age aware is now being rolled out across the country.

In a move to try and curb the rise of underage smoking where some 42 per cent of boys and 27 per cent of girls routinely buy cigarettes on their way to school, many of the 600,000 vending machines that currently exist in Japan will be equipped with a smart card reader.

In the future anyone wanting to buy cigarettes will have to touch a smart card to the vending machine’s reader to verify that they are above the legal age to buy the goods.

With the chip enabled passport and ID card currently being developed, UK retailers could use this technology to reduce the sale of controlled goods to under age purchasers.

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