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Smoking in Germany

The overall smoking prevalence in Germany has been going down since 2006. 28% of the adult population in Germany are current smokers, up from 30% in 2006. This means there are now approximately 20.1 million smokers in the country. 29.9% of men smoke, whilst for women this figure is 26%. The most recent data show there were 124,789 annual deaths attributable to tobacco smoking (approximately 42,000 women and 82,800 men). The annual percentage of all deaths attributable to tobacco smoking was 15.21% (women: 8.9%; and men: 18.4%). Nicotine vapes (e-cigarettes) are legal in Germany and there are 1.5 million vapers in the country, giving an adult vaping prevalence of 2.1%. There is a requirement to ensure vape packaging contains a health warning, and vapescan only be sold to those aged 18 and older. Vaping devices can be purchased without a prescription but there are legal restrictions on their use in public places. Heated tobacco products are legal and can be marketed, but the situation is a bit more complicated for snus. While it is illegal to import snus for trade or buy the product online, it is possible to import it for personal use. Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) products can be marketed and are available to buy in pharmacies. The NRT market in Germany is worth €45.8 million. For further information and full references, click through to the detailed datasheets above.

Read articles from Germany

March 29, 2024 by

With Germany legalising cannabis, Europe is reaching a tipping point. Britain, take note | Steve Rolles

Germany's cannabis reforms were approved this week, decriminalizing possession up to 25g, legalizing home growing, and setting a framework for non-profit associations to supply cannabis. The country's move echoes a global trend towards legalizing recreational cannabis, impacting over half a billion people. Germany initially planned a commercial market like Canada's but revised it to comply with international and EU laws. This shift towards "legalization-lite" mirrors reforms in Czech Republic and Luxembourg, influenced by Malta's non-commercial model.

February 29, 2024 by

Germany legalises possession of cannabis for personal use

Germany has legalized growing and holding limited amounts of cannabis for personal use, becoming one of the few countries to do so. Individuals can now cultivate up to three plants and possess up to 50g at home and 25g in public. The law aims to tackle the black market and protect young people, despite opposition concerns about increased drug use. The change, effective April 1, includes regulations on cannabis clubs and restrictions near educational institutions. This move makes Germany the third EU country to legalize cannabis, with implications for medicinal use globally and close monitoring of its impact expected.

July 10, 2023 by

Germany: Minister plans ban on smoking in cars with children

German Health Minister Karl Lauterbach is pushing for a ban to prevent smoking in cars where minors and pregnant women are passengers, German media group RedaktionsNetzwerk Deutschland (RND) reported on Friday. 

RND, as well as other outlets, cited a draft by Lauterbach that will be coordinated with other ministries before he presents it to the Cabinet.

Smoking in cars is not currently illegal in Germany. The plan, which is part of Lauterbach's draft proposal to legalize cannabis, aims to expand the existing Non-Smokers Protection Act.

October 26, 2022 by

Germany to legalize cannabis use for recreational purposes

Germany on Wednesday set out plans to legalise cannabis, in a move promised by Chancellor Olaf Scholz's government that would make it one of the first countries in Europe to make weed legal.

Health Minister Karl Lauterbach presented a cornerstone paper on planned legislation to regulate the controlled distribution and consumption of cannabis for recreational purposes among adults.

Acquiring and possessing up to 20 to 30 grams of recreational cannabis for personal consumption would also be made legal.

September 26, 2022 by

Big Tobacco Jumps Into Germany’s Pot Industry Alongside Snoop Dogg

British American Tobacco Plc has invested in German cannabis startup Sanity Group GmbH along with rapper Snoop Dogg’s Casa Verde Capital — the tobacco giant’s latest bet on pot as it diversifies beyond nicotine. Berlin-based Sanity secured $37.6 million in the BAT-led Series B funding round, according to founder and Chief Executive Officer Finn Age Hänsel. Nearly half of the amount will go toward strengthening Sanity’s medical business, while the company will spend the rest on preparing for the potential legalization of recreational marijuana in Germany. [...]

June 11, 2021 by

Germany approves tobacco and e-cigarette tax hike

Smokers - of both electronic cigarettes and the regular variety - will have to reach deeper into their pockets in the coming year, after the German Bundestag signed off a bill to raise taxes on cigarettes, e-cigarettes and tobacco heaters. On Friday morning, the Bundestag waved through legislation to make smoking in Germany more expensive as of next year - and the price hike is higher than was originally planned. Accordingly, the tobacco tax on a packet of 20 cigarettes will rise by an average of 10 cents in 2021. A year later, a further 10 cents will be added, and in both 2025 and 2026 another 15 cents per pack will be added. 

February 18, 2021 by

Vaping Products Face Tax Hike Under German Tobacco Law Update

Smokers buying e-cigarette products in Germany could face higher taxes under a new proposal.

The German Finance Ministry on Tuesday released a draft lawthat would update tobacco taxes for the first time in a decade.

Under the proposal, e-cigarette substances containing nicotine would be taxed like tobacco starting July 1, 2022.
For 2022 and 2023, substances containing nicotine would be taxed at 0.02 euros per milligram of nicotine alkaloids. That would rise to 0.04 euros per milligram in 2024. [...]


September 09, 2020 by

Cigarette giant wants dentists to understand tobacco harm reduction

The first point of contact for Germans who are seeking advice on switching to an alternative to combustible cigarettes is a general medical practitioner, a pharmacist or a dentist. However, according to a survey that was conducted by the market research institute Psyma on behalf of PMI’s German subsidiary, Philip Morris GmbH (PMG), more than half of German dentists feel that they struggle to provide advice to their patients about alternative tobacco products, owing to a lack of information.

April 10, 2020 by

BAT files patent suits against Philip Morris' IQOS products

British American Tobacco said on Thursday that it sued Philip Morris International Inc in the United States and Germany, alleging that the tobacco heating technology used in its bigger rival’s IQOS devices infringed its patents. The lawsuits in Germany and the United States focus on the heating blade technology used in IQOS, which BAT said was an earlier version of the technology currently being used in its glo tobacco heating devices. BAT has laid out plans to launch glo range of products in Germany this year.

March 05, 2020 by

'Thirdhand' smoke a health risk in cinemas, say researchers

[...] Now scientists say they have measured levels of such “thirdhand” smoke, suggesting it is carried on the bodies and clothing of moviegoers and could be a prominent, and lingering, source of hazardous chemicals.

“This represents significant but poorly understood health risks to non-smokers and a source of reactive chemicals indoors,” said Dr Drew Gentner, co-author of the research from Yale University, noting that previous studies suggest thirdhand smoke may account for between 5% and 60% of the combined disease burden from cigarette smoke in non-smokers.