A Cornish vending machine company has come up with an initiative aimed at thwarting under-aged smokers.
Under current agreements, virtually all machines in public houses are within sight of a barperson. But to further aid the publican, Launceston-based Sureline Vending Services has developed a radio frequency controller that stops the machine being used in pubs until activated by bar staff.
The bar staff sees the person and can ID them, in the same way as they would for alcohol. Until activated the machine rejects all coins. Once activated, after one vend the machine reverts to disabled mode.
Sureline director Phil Smith said: “We believe this is the definitive answer to the constant accusation that minors are sourcing cigarettes from vending machines. No publican would risk his license by allowing a machine to be activated for a minor.”