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Drug Peddlers

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To most people, the thought of a drug dealer invokes an image of a shady character standing on a street corner in a bad part of town. Obviously not all drug pushers fit this meme, as is evidenced by the club going, PDA wielding black tar peddler. The black tar we are referring to is not heroin, but the cilia coating carcinogen contained in tobacco. In a city that forbids smoking indoors in public areas it makes sense that unwacky tobacky conglomerates would focus some of their marketing energy and technology on tracking their club going addicts.

Over the years we have seen an evolution in tobacco fiend tracking technology that sensibly parallels the current trends in the IT marketplace. The current device being used by this unnamed tobacco company is the Hand Held Products Dolphin 7900 Mobile Computer. The hand held was used to first take a photograph of smoker's ID card, then to scan the stripe on the back of the card. Next a phone number was taken down and a signature required, before the two packs of smokes were bar code scanned and presented to the nicodict.

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Once a week the pusher takes her device to the corporate head quarters to download the scanned ID cards and digitized signatures to feed the marketing database. The handhelds are equipped with 802.11 which they only use at the office to offload their precious digital cargo, according to the tobacco promoter, the GSM/GRPS is never used. When asked if she ever felt guilty about her line of work she half-heartedly said no.