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German tobacco industry's successful efforts to maintain scientific and political respectability to prevent regulation of secondhand smoke


  • Bornhäuser, A
  • McCarthy, J
  • Glantz, S A


OBJECTIVE: To examine the tactics the tobacco industry in Germany used to avoid regulation of secondhand smoke exposure and to maintain the acceptance of public smoking. METHODS: Systematic search of tobacco industry documents available on the internet between June 2003 and August 2004. RESULTS: In West Germany, policymakers were, as early as the mid 1970s, well aware of the fact that secondhand smoke endangers non-smokers. One might have assumed that Germany, an international leader in environmental protection, would have led in protecting her citizens against secondhand smoke pollution. The tobacco manufacturers in Germany, however, represented by the national manufacturing organisation "Verband" (Verband der Cigarettenindustrie), contained and neutralised the early debate about the danger of secondhand smoke. This success was achieved by carefully planned collaboration with selected scientists, health professionals and policymakers, along with a sophisticated public relations programme. CONCLUSIONS: The strategies of the tobacco industry have been largely successful in inhibiting the regulation of secondhand smoke in Germany. Policymakers, health professionals, the media and the general public should be aware of this industry involvement and should take appropriate steps to close the gap between what is known and what is done about the health effects of secondhand smoke.

Suggested Citation

  • Bornhäuser, A & McCarthy, J & Glantz, S A, 2006. "German tobacco industry's successful efforts to maintain scientific and political respectability to prevent regulation of secondhand smoke," University of California at San Francisco, Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education qt5ft7x3m2, Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education, UC San Francisco.
  • Handle: RePEc:cdl:ctcres:qt5ft7x3m2

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    Cited by:

    1. Reiner Hanewinkel & Christian Radden & Tobias Rosenkranz, 2008. "Price increase causes fewer sales of factory-made cigarettes and higher sales of cheaper loose tobacco in Germany," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 17(6), pages 683-693.
    2. Tobias C. Vogt & Alyson A. van Raalte & Pavel Grigoriev & Mikko Myrskylä, 2016. "German East-West mortality difference: two cross-overs driven by smoking," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2016-004, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    3. repec:spr:demogr:v:54:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s13524-017-0577-z is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Hanewinkel, Reiner & Isensee, Barbara, 2008. "Opinion on tobacco tax increase: Factors associated with individuals' support in Germany," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 86(2-3), pages 234-238, May.

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