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Germany

Germans Offered Cash to Quit Smoking

The promise to quit smoking is one of the most oft-cited new year's resolutions, but despite best intentions and the obvious adverse health effects, thousands of Germans continue to smoke. In fact, 140,000 people in Germany die of tobacco-related illness every year. Germany's health minister, along with the Center for Cancer Research and the Federal Ministry of Health, is hoping to give smokers an added nudge to quite via an age-old method -- good old-fashioned bribery. As part of the third annual "Smoke Free 2004" initiative, smokers who kick their nasty habit for the month of May -- and family and friends who offer encouragement -- will be eligible for €10,000 in cash and prizes. The competition is part of an international effort -- with similar promotions in numerous other countries -- organized by the World Health Organization. Information is available in drug stores, German Rail service stations and other locations.