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Japan to roll out age-verifying cigarette machines

Evan Blass

In a move that's sure to annoy tobacco-lovers nationwide, especially underage ones, Japan has announced that the country's 620,000 cigarette vending machines will be replaced in 2008 with models that require an RFID-embedded age-verification card to release their delicious-but-deadly wares. This won't have much of an impact for those who buy their smokes by the carton or over-the-counter, but if a tobacco jones hits you while you're jammin' at the karaoke bar, you'd better be sporting your "smoker's card" (which, conveniently, can also be used to pay for your habit) . We're not really sure how effective this system is going to be, though, as it probably won't be all that difficult for kids to buy one of these exclusive cards from some shady non-smoking adult.

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