"One method of overcoming the difficult informational requirements of the allocation models described above is by enacting a requirement that anyone wanting to purchase cigarettes must first purchase a 'cigarette card'. The card, which could be based on the same magnetic strip (or computer chip) technology used for credit cards and ATM cards, would be issued to any legal-aged smoker who wanted to buy cigarettes and would have to be presented by the smoker each time she purchased cigarettes. A reaction of many readers may well be that our proposal gives too much information to government agencies, therefore creating a 'Big Brother' problem. We sympathize with that concern, but we believe the problem is not as significant as it may appear initially. First, it is not clear that the sort of information that the cigarette card system would generate is any different from the sort of information that the American public routinely provides to government and private agencies. In other words, it may be too late to worry about the sort of privacy concern that this proposal raises."
"The Costs of Cigarettes: The Economic Case for Ex Post Incentive-Based Regulation", Yale Law Journal, Vol. 107, No. 8 (March 1998), pp. 1292 and 1294.
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Reader comments about this quote:
aahhh, 'routinely provides'. Can anyone tell me how routinely providing government issued ID makes it safer. I understand metal detectors, xray machines, and body searches for safety (a certain level of competent argument exists) but how does IDing anyone do anything except violate the 4th, 5th Amendments, etc. Maybe here they don't want anyone smoking their identity.
 -- Mike, Norwalk     
    What a load of gobbledygook
     -- Robert, Sarasota     
    Note that there is nothing in this quote that indicates that the purchase would be recorded, just that it would be authorized by such an id... We already use such an id for these purchases, in the form of the state issued driver's license as proof of age. Far more worrysome (as the author indicates) is the info that the state already collects on our purchases, as we are (wrong headedly) allowing them to data mine such sources as our credit and bank transaction records. The cat is indeed already out of the bag and it is far past time to shove it back in when it comes to such data mining!
     -- Anonymous, Reston, VA US     
    A gem of an answer. As the old saying goes, 'Some say we are mad....but I know we are?' As for the subject matter itself, I have always said smoking is bad for the health. Therefore, I suggest that you give up smoking the cigarrette and smoke the cigarette card mentioned in the quote instead?
     -- J S Busby, Millom, Cumbria UK     
    Freedom dies in small pieces! How about "the pursuit of happiness?" For smokers that's cigarettes. What if you lost your card? Imagine craving nicotine and unable to buy a pack! LOL If you buy-in to needing a card, then you will buy-in to recording who is buying, then higher insurance rates because you smoke, then not having a job because you make others sick at work, then not having insurance because you smoke. WHERE WILL IT END? Foolish people would buy-in to all these "minor" infringements. And one day you will need to ask permission to smoke a cigarette. God help you if you've smoked your quota.
     -- Joe, Rochester, MI     
    What would prevent anyone, ie. whoever, using someone's card.
     -- Darrell Hall, Scarborough, Ontario     
    It is one thing to have the option of purchasing by card (as in ATM or credit card), but this type of arrangement makes using the card mandatory in order to purchase. Today a cigarette card, tomorrow another type of card required for purchase of food, clothing, or anything else. NOT a good idea at all. So expect it to happen soon.
     -- David L. Rosenthal     
    It's happening and is called The Real ID Act. If you want a job, a bank account, a driver's license, or to buy anything, you'll need to have this National ID card.
     -- Joe, Rochester, MI     
    Blatant nazism dressed up in double-speak.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
    Why stop with a card? Why not just tatoo a barcode on your forehead or hand? Where have I heard that before?
     -- Ken, Allyn, WA     
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