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Health insurers reject treating smokers as sick people

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Health insurers reject treating smokers as sick people
Photo: DPA
08:02 CEST+02:00
Health insurance companies have rejected a suggestion by the German Medical Association that smokers be treated as sick people.

“We don't see any particular need for this,” head of the German central association of health insurance companies Florian Lanz told daily Frankfurter Rundschau on Tuesday.

Treatment for smokers is a task for family doctors and is a part of medical insurance coverage, he said.

The German Medical Association announced on Monday that it is pushing to have tobacco addiction recognized as an illness.

The majority of smokers suffer addiction, the association argued, adding that it's not enough for doctors to suggest their patients take non-smoker's course.

The Federation of German Consumer Organisations (vzbv) also rejected the idea. “Does it make sense to make every smoker into a sick person?” health expert for the organization Stefan Etgeton asked. “And how will one distinguish between casual smokers and chain smokers?”

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