Germany’s plans to reduce use of tobacco and alcohol provoke protests from industry and local politicians

BMJ 2008; 337 doi: (Published 19 September 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;337:a1727
  1. Ned Stafford
  1. 1Hamburg

    Plans being drawn up by the German Ministry of Health to reduce alcohol and tobacco use have triggered strong protests from industry groups and politicians, with some of the sharpest criticism coming from the Bavarian health minister.

    Proposals were debated at a hearing on 15 September in Berlin. the hearing was closed to the public and press but was attended by representatives of about 30 groups, including representatives from the German Medical Association (Bundesärztekammer), public health insurers, the public pension system, alcohol and tobacco industries, advertisers, sports associations, and addiction prevention groups.

    Sabine Bätzing, Germany’s federal drug commissioner based in the health ministry and the plan’s driving force, told the BMJ that it was needed to reduce German alcohol and tobacco consumption, which is among the highest in Europe. …

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