German government agrees to ban advertising of tobacco products
The German government has agreed to ban the advertising of tobacco products in the streets, according to a draft law released last Thursday. Germany is the only EU country that still allows tobacco products to be advertised at the cinema and on street posters.
Germany’s stance on tobacco advertising
At the end of last year, doctors and politicians in Germany came together to call for an advertising ban on all tobacco products. Germany has a rather relaxed view when it comes to smoking and a similar initiative failed in 2016 when it was opposed by the CDU / CSU union. However, Angela Merkel promised to deliver her stance after indicating her support for an advertising ban earlier in 2019.
Chancellor Merkel’s party bloc duly changed its position on tobacco advertising at the end of 2019 and now the bill, which has been agreed upon after lengthy negotiations between Germany’s grand coalition parties, will be debated in parliament next week.
The fight against smoking
The draft law, if passed, will put a stop to the free distribution of cigarettes at events and limit the advertising of tobacco products to films for adults. According to the bill, these new measures, combined with existing regulations, will be an “effective way to lower the number of smokers.”
“Limiting tobacco advertising on the street and in cinemas is long overdue,” said Julia Klöckner, the Federal Minister for Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection. “Above all, we have to protect young people, so that ideally they don’t even start smoking.”
The advertising ban will be widened to include electronic cigarettes by 2024.