Medical association calls smoking an illness

The German Medical Association is pushing to have tobacco addiction recognized as an illness, Dortmund daily Ruhr Nachrichten reported on Monday.

Medical association calls smoking an illness
Smoke on, it's not your fault. Photo: DPA

“An assumption that it is a lifestyle problem that can be overcome through pure will or group meetings would not be fair to the problem,” the association expert panel said in the paper.

An official recognition would require the national committee to create a framework for providing funding for treatment.

Drug Commissioner Sabine Bätzing will meet with representatives from some 30 organizations in Berlin on Monday to prepare a national plans to fight alcohol and tobacco abuse.

The majority of smokers suffer addiction, the German Medical Association argued in the paper, adding that it’s not enough for doctors to suggest their patients take non-smoker’s course. There is a particular need for preventative programs in schools, the association said.