The heady days of smoking being cool have long since passed. Nowadays, being a smoker is almost as bad having the plague. But if the UK's smokers are feeling left out in the cold, it might be a comfort to know that things could be worse.
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Smokers in Japan will soon be required to carry special smart cards authenticating their age, along with the amount of money in their accounts.
The scheme is designed to curb under 20-year-olds smoking, and will start in 2008. Surely, it cannot be long until the UK government gets on board. Following the success and much championed economy of the ongoing ID card scheme, Computer Weekly, for one, will be happy to give the scheme its firm backing.
Oh, Downtime is being told we may have not got that quite right.