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Business

Germany to Ban Tobacco Ads

Germany will ban tobacco advertising in the press, on the Internet and at sporting events in line with a European Union directive, the German government said on Wednesday. Cigarette manufacturers will still be able to advertise on billboards and during cinema showings after 7:00 pm. A parliamentary bill is expected to be adopted by the end of July, Consumer Affairs Minister Renate Künast said after a cabinet meeting. "This is something we must do, above all else to ensure that young people never take up smoking," Künast said. "That is why I support a ban on advertising which shows smoking as something cool." Germany had been a long-time opponent of a ban on tobacco advertising and lodged an appeal with the European Court of Justice in 2003 against the EU directive, but is still waiting for a judgment. Germany's federation of advertisers criticized the decision to press ahead with a ban, saying it would lead to a sharp fall in advertising revenue for media companies. The federation's spokesman Volker Nickel said there was concern that the EU was considering a similar ban on advertising alcoholic drinks.

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