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The age coin

A few years ago, the Netherlands introduced the concept of the "age coin," a coin that must be requested from the bartender and inserted into a cigarette machine before cigarettes can be purchased. The idea is to ensure that the person buying the cigarettes is of legal age. In other words, curious six-year-olds cannot steal change from their parents and then secretly purchase them from the vending machine in the corner.

A restaurant I recently visited has apparently given up on this concept. Next to the cigarette machine I found a pile of age coins neatly placed on a small white plate. Anyone care for a smoke?


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