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Germany

Smoking Can Seriously Make You Laugh

German smokers, some of the most enthusiastic in Europe, have begun rebelling against the eye-catching health warnings now required on cigarette packets sold in the European Union by covering them with their own blackly comic messages. "Begging cigarettes from others can lead to sudden death," reads one black and white warning, imitating one of the 14 EU-mandated health messages required since last month. Others include: "Move out of the way! I'm headed for the graveyard" or "I smoke because you stink." EU law dictates that warnings must now cover at least 30 percent of the front of each packet and 40 percent of the back. In direct opposition to the stark messages of death, disease and health problems like impotence, Germans are now lightening the mood with slogans like "The cigarettes contained in this package can lead to a renewed erection," and "Hey, do you want to jump in the sack with me?"