Cigarette vending machines require ID in Japan

83959057_9789668488.jpg“Can I see your ID?” This question will now, in theory, be asked to anyone who attempts to buy cigarettes from vending machines in Japan. Reuters reports that “by next July, all of Japan’s 570,000 cigarette vending machines will require a smart card called ‘taspo’– a blend of the words tobacco, access and passport — issued only to people who are at least 20, the legal smoking age.”

The taspo card will also function as a money card for the machine, allowing users to pay for cigarettes as they’re being identified. The cards will be offered free of charge, and the smoker’s picture will appear on the card (though the machines have no way to read the images).

The machines were funded in large part by the Tobacco Institute, whose members include Japan’s three tobacco companies. The general manager at the Institute, Kazuyuki Kobayashi, says the Institute hopes the new system will prevent minors from smoking.

Japan Today writes…..
TOKYO — From March 2008, smokers in Japan will need an ID card that says they are adults before they can buy cigarettes from vending machines. The Tobacco Institute of Japan (TIOJ), Japan Tobacconist Federation (JTF) and Japan Vending Machine Manufacturers Association (JVMA) will introduce vending machines with adult identification functions across Japan, as part of an industry-wide initiative aimed at tackling the problem of underage smoking. Customers purchasing cigarettes will be asked to provide proof of age with the use of a pre-issued IC card, called “Taspo1,” which the machine is able to read.


2 Responses to “Cigarette vending machines require ID in Japan”

  1. 1 cheeju November 14, 2007 at 6:05 am

    Nice Technology! I think it is also suitable for our country but……………. impossible. anyway thanx 4 posting new tech articles, keeeeep it uuuuuuup…….. :-)

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