The number of smokers in Germany has drastically sunk for the first time in the history of the federal republic. According to a study conducted by the German Cancer Research Center, tobacco consumption decreased by 12 percent between 2002 and 2004. The drop among teenagers was especially large. Among 12 to 17-year-olds, the percentage of those who smoke fell from 28 percent in 2001 to 20 percent in 2005. Researchers say the likely cause of the drop is the significantly higher taxes on tobacco which have been introduced over the past three-and-a-half years. On Sept. 1, taxes will go up an additional 1.2 eurocents (1.4 cents) per cigarette, the fifth tax increase since 2002. A survey carried out by the government found that since December, 7.5 percent of smokers in Germany have given up the habit because of the higher taxes.