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Japanese Cigarette Vending (UPDATE)

 - May 13, 2008
References: uk.reuters
Japan has vending machines that dispense cigarettes, and just like similar machines in Europe, they provoke issues with underage children buying tobacco. To help prevent access to cigarettes by minors, Japan has come up with a new sensory technology that is meant to detect the age of the buyer by means of a wrinkle counter.

The machine basically scans the buyer's face to detect the smoothness of their skin. If it thinks the customer is under 20 (the legal 'smoking age' in Japan), it won't dispense the cigarettes.

If the technology works, the inventors of the Fujitaka Co system will celebrating, as Japan has around 570,000 tobacco vending machines! The company says it's about 90% effective!

I still don't know how well this would work, not only because people's skin matures at different ages naturally, but also because of all the cosmetic surgery happening today. If this technology takes off, even 50 year women might not be able to buy cigarettes anymore if they're heavily botoxed.