One of the things that you will notice in Germany is that there are cigarette vending machines everywhere. They’re on street corners and outside train stations, and they are always beat up and graffitied. I don’t know who owns them and gets the money from them, but I’m sure they make a lot of money. I’m not sure the stereotype is true that Europeans smoke more, but there are fewer gas stations and convenience stores here, so I imagine that even if there are the same number of smokers here, the vending machines do plenty of business to make up the difference.
This is one outside a train station. I believe the graffiti is actually a style choice and is part of the panel. I’ve seen the same pattern elsewhere. But I’ve also seen plane ones that say “Tabakwaren” or Tabacco. There are some old stickers on it, but I didn’t examine them too closely, because I was already the crazy person taking pictures of a cigarette machine.
In order to buy cigarettes, you have to scan a ID carde to prove that you’re of age. I don’t know what you do if you’re foreign – I suppose you just have to go to a store. This seems incredibly insecure to me, though. There is no way to check to make sure that the ID actually matches the person buying the cigarettes. I’d imagine it’d be easy to swipe or borrow an older person’s ID.
The machine accepts card and cash and advertises that it will give you your change back. I suppose there are some that don’t?
On the left side of the picture is the ID scanner and at the top are the various receptacles for payment. I suppose while it’s not particularly secure, it is efficient.