11:07pm Saturday 19 October 2019

Smoke-free restaurants and bars in Germany 2012

by Sel / MPL

Public approval of a smoke-free catering industry continues to grow. According to a survey commissioned by the German Cancer Research Center (Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, DKFZ) in Heidelberg, more than three quarters of Germans (77.5 percent) are in favor of a smoking ban in restaurants and bars. In 2005 – before non-smoker protection acts were enforced – the approval rate was only 53 percent.

enlarged view © dkfz.de

“We are particularly pleased that in 2012, for the first time, a majority of 51 percent of smokers also thinks positively of smoke-free catering establishments,” says Dr. Martina Pötschke-Langer of DKFZ in Heidelberg. This is the result of a recent representative survey among 2000 Germans over 16 years of age, which was commissioned by DKFZ and conducted by the Society for Consumer Research (Gesellschaft für Konsumforschung, GfK). According to the survey, approval of a smoking ban in bars and restaurants is particularly high among non-smokers (93 percent), former smokers (87 percent) and occasional smokers (71 percent).

It is also noticeable that there is a clear majority of supporters of smoke-free catering establishments across all political parties. Most supporters – more than 80 percent – are found among voters of CDU/CSU and the Green Party. Two out of three voters of the Pirate Party are also in favor of smoke-free restaurants and bars.

So far, there is comprehensive protection from the dangers of passive smoking only in restaurants and bars in the German states of Bavaria and Saarland. The newly elected government of North Rhine-Westphalia plans to introduce measures for consequent and legally binding non-smoker protection following the Bavarian model in the near future. All other German states continue to have a “patchwork” of different and impractical exception regulations which entail serious drawbacks for health protection and, above all, go at the expense of employees in the catering industry. “We therefore strongly advocate nationwide introduction of smoke-free food and beverage establishments,” says Martina Pötschke-Langer.

The publication “Rauchfreie Gaststätten in Deutschland 2012 – Erstmals Mehrheit der Raucher für Rauchverbot” (Smoke-free restaurants and bars in Germany 2012: Majority of smokers in favor of smoking ban for the first time) by DKFZ (in German) can be obtained from the Division of Cancer Prevention at:


or is available for download at:

The German Cancer Research Center (Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, DKFZ) with its more than 2,500 employees is the largest biomedical research institute in Germany. At DKFZ, more than 1,000 scientists investigate how cancer develops, identify cancer risk factors and endeavor to find new strategies to prevent people from getting cancer. They develop novel approaches to make tumor diagnosis more precise and treatment of cancer patients more successful. Jointly with Heidelberg University Hospital, DKFZ has established the National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT) Heidelberg where promising approaches from cancer research are translated into the clinic. The staff of the Cancer Information Service (KID) offers information about the widespread disease of cancer for patients, their families, and the general public. The center is a member of the Helmholtz Association of National Research Centers. Ninety percent of its funding comes from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research and the remaining ten percent from the State of Baden-Württemberg.

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