According to German media group RedaktionsNetzwerk Deutschland (RND), German Health Minister Karl Lauterbach is pushing for a ban that would ban smoking in cars carrying children and pregnant women, The range of smoked products includes cigarettes, e-cigarettes, heated tobacco products and cannabis.
Lauterbach’s draft, quoted by RND and other media, will be presented at a cabinet meeting after coordination with other ministries.
Smoking in cars is not currently illegal in Germany. The plan is part of a proposal drafted by Lauterbach to legalize marijuana and expand the existing Smoke-Free Persons Protection Act.
According to the draft cited by RND, the smoking ban already in place on public transport is intended to “protect this vulnerable group from second-hand smoke”.
Smoking in cars has been shown to carry a higher risk due to the small space. The draft states:
“According to established studies, secondhand smoke also causes many serious illnesses and deaths, such as coronary heart disease, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and sudden infant death syndrome.”
Lauterbach says many studies have also found a link between secondhand smoke and lung cancer; According to the draft, the ban would apply to smoked products such as cigarettes, e-cigarettes, heated tobacco products and cannabis.
A German government statement said a ban on smoking in cars with children would be “unconditionally welcomed”.
Australia, France, South Africa, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and some states in the United States already have similar bans in place. Since 2019, several German states have introduced initiatives to ban smoking in cars with children, with fines of up to €3,000 possible for violations.
The upper house of the German parliament (Bundesrat) decided in March 2022 to introduce a corresponding bill in the lower house (Bundestag).
The German state of Lower Saxony, citing the German Cancer Research Center, reported that smoke concentrations in cars can be “five times higher than in a bar environment.”
【1】Germany: Minister plans ban on smoking in cars with children