Machines Join Japanese Anti-Smoking Effort

Face-scanning system could help ensure buyers are of age
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 12, 2008 4:25 PM CDT
A new technology would scan for wrinkles and facial structure to determine whether a vending-machine customer is old enough to buy cigarettes.   ((c) matsuyuki)
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(Newser) – New face-scanning software may help Japanese vending machines decide who can buy cigarettes and who can't, Reuters reports. The system would look for wrinkles and saggy skin to identify customers over the legal smoking age of 20. As of July, vendors are on the hook for checking ID, and the new technology  may stop teen smokers from using friends' proof of age.

"With face recognition, so long as you've got some change and you are an adult, you can buy cigarettes like before," says a rep for the manufacturer.