Berlin - Germany is the last country in the European Union (EU) to want to ban outdoor advertising for tobacco products. A draft law of the parliamentary groups of the Union and SPD discussed today in the first reading provides for advertising bans on advertising pillars and bus stops as well as stricter requirements for cinema advertising for tobacco products, e-cigarettes and tobacco heaters.
Also so-called refill containers with nicotine-free liquid for e-cigarettes. According to the draft, cigarettes should fall under the advertising ban. There was long disagreement about this detail. Critics also complain about the transition periods for e-cigarettes and tobacco heaters provided in the draft. They are demanding immediate advertising bans for these product groups as they can tempt young people to smoke.
On radio, TV, Tobacco products and their relatives have not been allowed to appear in newspapers and magazines for long time. The draft we are discussing today is now aimed at public posters. According to the current status, the planned law is to come into force as early as January 2021.
An outdoor advertising ban, initially only for pure tobacco products, is then to apply after transition period from 2022, namely for “all advertising outside closed spaces, including shop window advertising ". Exceptions should apply to the outside and window areas of retail shops. Tobacco heaters will not affect the planned advertising ban until January 2023, and e-cigarettes at the beginning of 2024.
So far, the proposed law has mainly failed due to resistance from the CDU. In autumn 2019, the majority of the Union parliamentary group voted for tobacco advertising ban for the first time, which should come into force on January 1, 2021. Due to the corona pandemic, the topic slipped off the agenda in April. It is uncertain whether the law will be able to be passed this year. The fact that the bill was so long in coming was mainly due to major innovation.
About 28 percent of Germans smoke. According to the cancer information service, it is estimated that nine out of ten men and six out of ten women develop lung cancer. Overall, around every fifth cancer is caused by tobacco products. Every year around 120,000 people in Germany die as result of smoking.
With their draft, the coalition factions want to anchor the equality of nicotine-free cigarettes and refill containers with nicotine-containing products in the Tobacco Products Act. For long time there was disagreement on this point, because products without nicotine are considered to be less addictive.
The so-called liquids with which e-cigarettes can be filled are available with and without nicotine.In many cases, however, the liquids that do not contain nicotine are now sold in package with nicotine solutions with which they are then mixed. In addition, liquids with exotic flavors that do not contain nicotine are also used as attractants for young people.
“With their fruity aromas, e-cigarettes and hookahs are often linked to the taste of sweets. There is risk that young people practice smoking ritual with these products and potentially become addicted to nicotine, ”said Martina Pötschke-Langer, Chairwoman of the Foundation. In the long term, this could torpedo the successes achieved in tobacco prevention so far, she explained with view to World No Tobacco Day on Sunday.
"With flavors like vanilla ice cream and gummy bears, you attract young people, not die-hard smokers," also said Rüdiger Kerch, WHO Director for Health Promotion. The tobacco industry is targeting more and more young people with its marketing tactics and is relying more and more on social media, says Kerch. “We also know that they support influencers financially so that they can advertise tobacco.”
In order to protect minors in particular, the draft law discussed today also includes proposal to amend the Youth Protection Act. From January 2021, cinema advertising for tobacco products as well as tobacco heaters and e-cigarettes and their refill containers should only be allowed to be shown in front of films over the age of 18 at festivals - to distribute. The paper does not contain any suggestions as to how influencer marketing could be dealt with in the future. The fact that sponsorship of festivals or similar events has not yet been recorded there was also criticized in the first reading in the Bundestag by representatives of the Left and the Greens.
Berlin - The German Society for Pneumology and Respiratory Medicine (DGP), together with the Society for Pediatric Pneumology (GPP), warn against seeing e-cigarettes as an option for people who want to quit smoking. “E-cigarettes pose health risks and are not an alternative. For smoking cessation, structured cessation programs are primarily [...]
Criticism also came from representatives of the health sector. "I welcome the intention of the German Bundestag to implement the advertising restriction for tobacco, cigarettes and e-cigarettes," said Andreas Storm, Chairman of the Board of Directors of DAK-Gesundheit. “The long transition periods provided for in the law are, however, incomprehensible for e-cigarettes.” The protection of children and adolescents must come first, until 2024 one should not wait.
“The harmful effects on health and their consequences for our society and social systems have been proven for years. An effective advertising ban is therefore health prevention for Germany, ”says Dirk Heinrich, CEO of the. "We should have the courage to go all the way now and also include tobacco heaters and e-cigarettes in the ban from 2022." to the lead Committee on Food and Agriculture, which will present revised version for second reading.