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More protection for condom machines

OUTDOOR condom machines are to be moved to more private and secure locations inside office buildings, universities, entertainment venues and public toilets by June, officials from the Shanghai Population and Family Planning Commission said yesterday.

Officials said that of some 2,000 machines that had been installed in Shanghai since 2003, more than half didn't work because they had been vandalized.

Some had been broken into for the cash, others damaged when frustrated customers failed to get condoms after they had inserted money.

"Indoor locations can protect machines from deliberate destruction and ensure condom quality, especially in the summer," Jiang Wei, from the Shanghai Management Center for Contraceptive Drugs and Devices, said.

The authorities are also to gradually replace the old machines with a new type that can recognize fake coins, show the products inside and have a light to indicate when it is empty.

"Some people banged on the machines not to steal money but because the machines didn't give out condoms after swallowing their coins, though theoretically the machine should return the coin if there is no condom," said the center's director Tang Wenjuan.


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