Smoking Out Fake IDs for Tobacco Purchases by Underage Smokers

PORT TOWNSEND, Wash., Dec. 6, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Smoking is the leading preventable cause of death in the U.S., according to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Because many adult smokers began smoking during adolescence, preventing teenagers from trying cigarettes is critical. Virtually all American students receive anti-smoking education, and there has been no weakening of restrictions on tobacco advertising. The cost of cigarettes--usually a strong predictor of declines in teen smoking--continues to rise. Still, more than 40 percent of today's high school students have tried smoking before they graduate, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

According to Temple University psychologist Laurence Steinberg, there is evidence that smoking during adolescence is more likely to lead to addiction than smoking after age 21; this is because brain systems that are active when people experience pleasure are highly malleable during adolescence, and far more easily modified when exposed to drugs.

The New York City Council just voted to increase the age limit for buying tobacco to age 21. In the five boroughs; e-cigarettes are also covered. Mayor Bloomberg is expected to sign the bills into law.

Understandably, many college students greeted news of the measure with resentment. Colin Drohan, a 20-year-old NYU student, said many shops don't check identification when selling alcohol and assumed it will be the same with cigarettes. Convenience store association groups also opposed the NYC measures, saying they will only strengthen the black market, and the city will lose out on tax revenue.

Nonetheless, anyone selling cigarettes is required to check IDs. The legislation mandates $1,000 fines for shops selling to people under 21; $2,000 fines for second offenses; and license revocation for repeat offenders over a three-year period. Who is going to help these beleaguered shop owners or their workers do the right thing?

Here's who: Intellicheck Mobilisa, Inc. of Port Townsend, Washington. The company, led by CEO Nelson Ludlow, Ph.D., has perfected an app called barZapp, available for iPhone and Android. Harnessing the company's patented "ID Check" software,  barZapp checks the authenticity of an ID as determined by reading and verifying the information encoded in the bar codes on a driver's license or other form of ID. Using the app is easy: after downloading barZapp, a user aims the smartphone at the barcode, and it will immediately display, read, analyze and verify the results.  

For more information, visit www.icmobil.com, who paid for the writing and dissemination of this release.

Contact:  Enrique Briz, Dian Griesel Int'l. 212.825.3210

SOURCE Intellicheck Mobilisa



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