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Germany: A Haven for Smokers?

Despite attempts to discourage smoking by raising taxes and introducing shock warning labels, Germans continue to light up in masses. DW-WORLD readers weighed in on the country's smoker-friendly culture.

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Cigarettes are comparatively cheap in Germany

Come on Germany, take some kind of anti-smoking action! Of course, start by raising the cigarette taxes. Your smoking policy is beginning to look like Russia's vodka attitude: "If we can't give you good government, we will pacify you with something else." In Germany's case, it is cheap smokes. In the end, we all know now that someone must pay for all the smoking related disease which will inevitably come. -- Ira Mandell

Of course, taxation is a good method of ending smoking. And when that is accomplished I trust that those who play radios in public places can also be taxed -- so much of today's music is so offensive. And, naturally, many people are allergic to perfume and the smell of deodorants.-- Manuel H. Rodriguez, California, USA

I am a Brit who lives in Germany, and I am horrified by the central role that smoking has in so many Germans' lives. Particularly in cafes and restaurants, the air is so sometimes so thick with smoke I have difficulty breathing and my eyes water. I would like to see more non-smoking areas in Germany, and taxes on cigarettes raised so high that they become unaffordable for most, especially the young. -- Jacob Highams, Munich

When I first moved to Germany, I was shocked to see so many people smoking. I have seen 12-year-olds smoke, young women, parents in front of their babies, the elderly. It's simply horrible. I always thought Germany was so progressive, but it lags behind in anything that has to do with anti-smoking efforts. What makes people believe that the smokers have more rights? -- Ingrid

I think raising prices on cigarettes is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it does give people incentive to stop. But on the other hand the black market becomes a more attractive way to buy cigarettes. -- Richard Kearney

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  • Date 01.12.2004
  • Author DW staff (jen)
  • Print Print this page
  • Permalink http://p.dw.com/p/5vs7
  • Date 01.12.2004
  • Author DW staff (jen)
  • Print Print this page
  • Permalink http://p.dw.com/p/5vs7