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Typical: Smoking Card in the Hands of a Minor

June 3rd, 2008 · 2 Comments · Typical

image Not a big surprise here….a minor got his hands on the new TASPO card that allows you to buy cigarettes from vending machines in Japan in exchange for a photo and some personal details.  The surprising part is who the minor got the TASPO card from -  he got it from his mother and she is believed to be the first person to be arrested under the Law on the Prohibition of Smoking by Minors.

Police said the teen started smoking last year while he was still a student at junior high school. His mother initially opposed his habit and encouraged him to quit, but ended up buying him cigarettes when he refused to obey her. She took out a taspo card in her name so she would be able to buy cigarettes for her husband. The case broke when a police officer caught the boy smoking in a Fukuoka park on May 19.
Source:  Mainichi Daily News

Why would she even have a TASPO card in the house if she opposed her sons’ smoking habit?  You can still buy cigarettes from convenience stores without the card and when this woman realized that she couldn’t control her son why didn’t she just cut up the card rather than hand it over?  That’s what I would have done.   Alternatively, I would have made sure the card was in my husbands wallet so that he could pick up his own smokes on the way to and from work.

This story would have been even odder had the kid been caught by one of the new cigarette vending machines that can count your wrinkles.  While I would assume that this boy bears some resemblance to his mother it would have been an interesting to see if this new technology would pick up on it.  Furthermore if the new technology kicked in what would happen next?  Would lights start flashing and bell start jingling to alert the nearby police that the face on the card and the face at the machine didn’t match?

You can find out more details about how the TASPO card works and how you can get one by reading ID Cards Needed for Cigarette Machines.

Photo Credit: Flickr, Don’t Smoke

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2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 www.japansoc.com // Jun 3, 2008 at 8:41 am

    Mother gives son her TASPO card & Gets arrested…

    Can you believe this? Would you give your kid an ID card so that he could go out and buy cigarettes? A Fukuoka Mom did just that and she got arrested for it….

  • 2 Mike // Jun 3, 2008 at 9:20 am

    Nice article – got it through JapanSoc :) I did a post myself about the new vending machines, if you’re interested:

    http://www.japanisdoomed.com/2008/05/13/guess-your-age-vending-machines/