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I'm actually surprised to see this massive push in Japan to prevent underage smoking, considering even the dogs tend to have a pack of cigarettes tucked away somewhere. But I guess they've finally decided to join the rest of the world in cutting down. And in an even bigger move than any we've seen here in the US, the actual tobacco companies are planning on handing out micro-chip embedded cards to smokers 20 or over who can then use them to buy cigarettes from the 620,000 vending machines nationwide. This will become effective in 2008 and the new machines will include a sensor that will read the cards. No card, no butts baby. Smokers will have to apply for these cards for free by sending in an application along with a document that shows their age.

Tobacco industry to introduce IC cards to stop minors' smoking [Japantoday]

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