Sunday, 13 July 2008

Rauchen verboten

no smoking sign
Rauchen verboten = Smoking is forbidden = Vicky is happy

Germany has banned smoking in public places. This brings the country into line with the UK, France and Italy. The ban is a radical move for Germany as it is estimated that one third of the population smokes.

As of 1st July, there is now a risk of being fined if you're caught smoking in a public place or if you are the proprietor of a public establishment where smoking takes place.

The ban hasn't been well received by some smokers - a number have claimed that the new regulations infringe their rights. There have even been murmurings regarding the fact that in 1941 the Nazi regime implemented a national ban on smoking in the quest for bodily purity. (See article from the British Medical Journal for more details...)

Many bar owners are annoyed by the potential loss of earnings as a result of the ban. Some have turned their establishments into 'smoking clubs', while others have tried to create special rooms for smokers or have spread out their chairs on to the pavements.

Myself? I am just relieved that I can go out and not have a coffee or a meal spoiled by inhaling the toxins from other people's smoke. A recent study by the German Cancer Research Center revealed that more than 3,300 people die in Germany every year due to passive smoking-related diseases. Makes you think.

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