RFID anti-smoking scheme dangling by a thread

The Feedster

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Jun 26, 2007
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If you remember the Taspo RFID proof-of-age card for cigarette machines in Japan, you might also recall its ridiculous ‘Pidel’ name for the e-cash it can hold.

You’ll probably also be familiar with what a ludicrous concept the whole thing is when shops next to most machines sell smokes without the card anyway.

Two fingers up

Now, as if to prove how daft the whole scheme is, a machine owner in the west of Japan has incurred the wrath of the cancer-stick industry by daring to attach his own Taspo card to his machine so that customers don't have to bother getting one of their own.

The unnamed shopkeeper hung his own Taspo from the machine by a string, along with a note warning underage smokers not to chance their arm by using it. Naturally, the Japan Tobacco Institute was none too pleased.

A spokesperson said, "It is an act that erodes the age-verifying system and the public's confidence in the tobacco industry."

Sure, but it also points up the mind-numbing hypocrisy of the cigarette industry pretending to care about public welfare while simultaneously pushing tobacco products in thousands of other outlets that aren’t regulated by cutting-edge wireless technology.