German court ruling on smoking in public places leads to demands for federal law

BMJ 2008; 337 doi: (Published 11 August 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;337:a1258
  1. Ned Stafford
  1. 1Hamburg

    Germany’s tough laws banning most cigarette smoking in restaurants, pubs, nightclubs, and other indoor public areas are at risk of being weakened less than a year after being implemented after a ruling by the nation’s highest court.

    But advocates of smoke-free areas are hoping that the ruling will prompt the federal government to pass a stronger law that will introduce a complete ban on smoking in enclosed public spaces with no exceptions.

    Martina Pötschke-Langer, head of the World Health Organization’s collaborating centre for tobacco control in Heidelberg, said, “I think we now have an open situation. It is a very delicate situation. The doors are open on both sides, and …

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