• Germany's news in English

Hamburg’s smoking ban goes up in smoke

The Local · 21 Feb 2012, 12:34

Published: 21 Feb 2012 12:34 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The Constitutional Court, based in the southwestern town of Karlsruhe, ruled that smoking bans must be imposed on restaurants and bars alike, or not at all.

Hamburg’s unique smoking ban – the matter is decided at state, not federal, level in Germany – says that bars that only offer drinks are allowed to keep a separate smoking room, while places that offer food are not. The Karlsruhe judges decided that this was a violation of the German constitution’s articles safeguarding fair competition.

Hamburg restaurants are now allowed to install separate smoking rooms until the city’s authorities come up with a new ruling.

The court also said that the same conflict does not exist in any other German state, where there are either blanket smoking bans or exceptions for smoking rooms.

The ruling was sparked by a legal complaint from the manager of a motorway service station, who wanted to install a separate smoking room for her customers – she said that 80 percent of them were smoking truck drivers.

The court based its decision on evidence from the German Cancer Research Centre, which said that “from a scientific point of view, it makes no difference if the toxic substances in tobacco smoke are inhaled in a bar or a restaurant.”

Almost all German states allow exceptions to their smoking bans in bars and restaurants. Only Bavaria and Saarland have imposed a total ban.

Story continues below…

DPA/The Local/bk

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

15:38 February 21, 2012 by euan.dykes
Smoking laws aren't imposed for smokers health, but for the bar workers who have to breath in night after night second hand smoke. That's why in NZ we band smoking from bars, and bars are doing just as much business if not more business than before the law was put in place. I think most smokers want to quit, but it makes it harder when all your mates are having a fag at the bar. The tobacco industry knows it's smoking in bars that captures new addicts, so that's why they lobby governments so hard to keep allowing smoking in bars.
15:47 February 21, 2012 by n230099
"The court based its decision on evidence from the German Cancer Research Centre, which said that ¦quot;from a scientific point of view, it makes no difference if the toxic substances in tobacco smoke are inhaled in a bar or a restaurant.¦quot;

With 'rocket scientists' like this it's a wonder Germany's 'space program' isn't more vibrant!
15:53 February 21, 2012 by McM
If we follow the research center logic quoted here then I guess it makes no difference if a child is run over by a bus or a truck. As long as they are free to play on the road!!!!

Really though, this is as silly as as it gets. Many countries have just banned smoking in pubs and bars along with restaurants and have not had any problems . The majority of people are well enough educated these days to not want to sit in some stink hole or expect workers to put up with it any more.

This is one thing Germany needs to really catch up on in some areas as many visitors to Germany are shocked by the smoking that still goes on here.
17:01 February 21, 2012 by boopsie
Lots of people do continue to smoke in Germany. Is it still possible that people still think that smoking a cigarette makes them more attractive and sophisticated? The only thing I think when I see a smoker is how completely unintelligent and stupid they look with a cigarette their hand.
17:51 February 21, 2012 by melbournite
They need to combine a ban on smoking with a ban on cigarette advertising. Is it constitutional to make a profit from killing people?
17:53 February 21, 2012 by Vellocatus
Sorry guys, but anyone who states that smoke bans do not devastate businesses is either very gullible or more likely part of the anti-smoker cabal being paid to deceive the gullible. Here's an example;

Minnesota bars closed - Smoking activists LIE!


The same applies to anyone who states or infers that second hand tobacco smoke is in any way harmful.

or to anyone who states that they believe that most smokers want to become quitters - it's all manufactured propaganda intended to isolate smokers and con the foolish.

If you are not an anti-smoker/pharmaceutical shill then you must be one of the gullible and you need to educate yourself. Here would be a good start to appreciate the long established anti-smoker deception;


Be aware also that FULL smoke bans are the exception rather than the rule and most of those are re-evaluating the damage they cause and wisely amending them.



It is well beyond time that anti-smokers were starved of their parasitic funding that is being used to such damaging effect - Holland leads the way;


Other, more progressive countries are wisely in the process of following their lead,

(add prefixes to web links or google them)
19:32 February 21, 2012 by raandy
The no smoking ban in all these places is a good thing. People adjust,go outside . I saw this in my State when the ban was passed 20 years ago.

Here in Berlin, after 10 or so the butts come out as well as the ashtrays. No one enforces it.
02:08 February 22, 2012 by boopsie
Thats a funny post Vellocatus. Do a seach on the many ways smoking can and does kill people everyday and them come back and tell us about those awful anti smoking campaigns.
09:13 February 22, 2012 by euan.dykes
Non smokers don't need to go on smoke-o brakes every hour, therefore are more likely to be at their desks when some is looking for them or trying to call them. In meetings you can always tell the smokers because after an hour long meeting you can see them itching to get out and lite a fag, therefore aren't concentrating on or contributing to the meeting (they might as well not be there). Smokers feel liberated to litter their buts on the streets and think that no one notices. Smokers are more likely to end up spending lots more time later in life in hospitals compensated by the non smoking tax payers. Non smokers don't have privately funded lobby groups, what financial advantage is there in lobbying against tobacco? Smokers wake up and smell the fresh air!
17:26 February 22, 2012 by Vellocatus
I¦#39;ve already done all the ¦#39;seach¦#39;es (sic) boopsie; lots of them! What I have found is that the ones you refer to tend to be mainly produced by anti-smoker lobby groups, who exploit a tenuous link with some previously well regarded organisation, with wads money to swamp the web with their propaganda. When you look at what they say in depth you find that they are merely the bought-and-paid-for biased opinions of some dubious ¦#39;expert¦#39; - there is usually little reference to real evidence and where there is, it is the same evidence you will find via the ¦#39;fightingback.homestead¦#39; website where it has been examined and invariably found NOT to support what is claimed by the corrupt anti-tobacco industry or those ¦#39;experts¦#39; who represent it.

I should like to point out that I have no connection with any tobacco company, My only vested interest is in protecting the freedoms of my children that the tobacco CONTROL industry is hell bent upon stealing by any debase methods they can think of. Maybe you would like to come back and enlighten the readers as to whether YOU are a gullible or a mercenary commentator boopsie (as described in my previous comment)? A simple and unequivocal denial of any connection with the anti-tobacco or pharmaceutical industries will suffice, or possibly something like; ¦quot;I¦#39;m deeply hurt that you would think I might be some lying, corrupt, money grabbing drone from the anti-tobacco cabal¦quot;
22:16 February 22, 2012 by boopsie
@ Vellocatus

I take it all back, smoking is not a health risk and society should not discourage its use in any way. As for all those folks who will die from smoking related emphysema, heart problems, cancer, immune suppressed disorders, etc. etc. well, they can be happy to know that smoking related illness is a big myth.

Good luck with that. :-)
01:58 February 23, 2012 by Vellocatus
They haven't told you have they boopsie!

"The majority of lung cancer diagnoses in the United States now are either in people who never smoked or in people who have quit," (Dr. Bruce Johnson of the Dana Farber Cancer Institute Boston) - Nov 2010.

You don't know that as smoking prevalence has reduced, most so called 'smoke related' illness has continued to increase, do you! Have you not wondered why many so called 'smoke related' illnesses are now allegedly being caused by alcohol and obesity?

Remember, drones are only told what they need to know and thinking is not required.

I noticed you haven't denied being a tobacco control shill - slipped your mind eh?
03:40 February 23, 2012 by boopsie
You wouldn't be any chance be a smoker would you Vellocatus? Its normal for an addict to be in denial. Heck, Miles Davis said is was harder to give up smoking tobacco than it was to give up heroin.
13:25 February 23, 2012 by mikescrill
Vellocatus, you are an idiot. Smoking kills, period. It stinks, it hurts everyone around it, and if you HONESTLY think bars business, which is ALCOHOL, not cigarettes, is hurting because the smoker has to (OMG NO!!!!) go outside to smoke, then you're smoking something else besides cigarettes. And your poor little children can smoke if you really want them to, they sure have the right... the right to all the stinky, nasty, disease filled years of smoking they want. And PS, when you're dying of cancer, choking on your own breath, I'm going to be the person who is petitioning for you to be pulled off life support because I don't want to have to pay for someone who killed themselves.
14:25 February 23, 2012 by LecteurX
@ Chango Monkey #8 - you're really having a laugh, aren't you??

Please state exactly what the EU has to do with this? The very article says that in Germany, legislation on smoking is decided at state level (state as in Bavaria, Brandenburg, the Free City of Hamburg, etc) as opposed to federal level.

Germany is a founding member of the EEC/EC/EU and after 55 years of membership, has not enforced a nationwide smoking ban, and has not even enacted a ban on advertising for tobacco products - you can still see lots of ads for cigarette brands in big posters everywhere. In Berlin, most bars and clubs, and many restaurants, are places where you still can smoke. All this in a strong member of the EU, not some sort of half-*rsed member like the UK.

The EU is FAR from perfect, and much criticism it gets is absolutely deserved. But here it's plainly ridiculous and completely off-topic! Go press your idiotic propaganda on another issue, you stupid dingo monkey.
16:54 February 23, 2012 by Joe Wutbürger
Actually LecteurX, the whole anti smoking movement was started by the EU a long way back and it was an EU directive that forced the national governments to implement the bans.

Personally, I think Hamburg has operated a sensible and balanced compromise up til now. My little Eckkneipe fulfils the required conditions to allow smoking. There is a sign on the door that says smoking is allowed, the staff smoke, the customers smoke if they wish, and if they dont wish they can go next door to the non-smoking establishment. It's basically a matter of freedom of choice. and I'm an advocate of freedom, because that's what my Dad (a pipe smoker) fought for. Horses for courses. Speaking of courses, do they have Anger Management courses in Belin?
21:48 February 23, 2012 by Vellocatus
Well Goodness Gracious me, thanks very much mikescrill. I didn¦#39;t expect someone like you would come along to demonstrate so explicitly the intellect of a typical gullible anti-smoker! ie. A brainwashed, mentally unstable, truly ugly person, clearly suffering from abnegation after having read some truths in my comments that have previously been denied to you or that you needed to cover your eyes and ears to.

Trust me, you will NOT live forever because you don¦#39;t smoke!

Just for your information, smoking helps people with mental problems or depression and can enhance cognitive function & intelligence, typically by 10% -30% but in some cases by up to 50%! It can also prevent or delay CNS illnesses such as Alzheimer¦#39;s and Parkinson¦#39;s when you grow older. Do you Remember Hitler mikescrill? He was also prone to angry outbursts and irrational behaviour/decisions, particularly so in the closing months of the 2WW. He was a rabid anti-smoker too and wouldn't listen to others - HE suffered from Parkinson¦#39;s - One could argue that BECAUSE he hated smokers and smoking, HE lost the war!

Thanks again for showing the impartial reader the type of hate filled person who supports the anti-smoker agenda !
01:39 February 24, 2012 by boopsie
You're a riot Vellocatus - more please. Clowns are so entertaining. Tell us again why smoking is good for your health. If you don't mind please be explicit as to why smoking cigarettes is so good for your heart and lungs. Thanks in advance. :-)
10:01 February 24, 2012 by LecteurX
@ Joe Wutbürger - well for sure there is strong anti-smoke sentiment in the EU commission, but so far they have failed to force an EU-wide smoking ban. The very patchy nature of smoking legislation from one EU state to the next shows that this is very much an area where nations have the final say, even in Europe.

Seriously there are many countries outside of the EU that have much harsher anti-smoking laws. I think it is unfair EU-bashing to say that this in an area where the EU "controls our lives" and then to go on to compare it with Julius Caesar, Napoleon and "dear old Adolf" as Chango Monkey did.
11:44 February 24, 2012 by Vellocatus
Come now boopsie, there is more than enough information here to spark into action any rational mind, even though it may have been subjected to constant anti-tobacco propaganda for decades, but you want everything on a plate? Use your brain!

Of course there is much much more to the anti tobacco deception but you need to discover it yourself, for it to have any meaning. It is very telling that you refuse to divulge your motivation for commenting on here and i suspect that most readers will have worked it out too. Have you not noticed that more and more non-smokers are beginning to speak out against anti-tobacco shills? Anti-smokers are a different breed to normal non-smokers - they CAN work it out and they CAN see that the issue is NOT just about smoking. You may be forgiven for being a fool, but few will so easily forgive those who seek to deceive them.
18:34 February 24, 2012 by boopsie
So in addition to being rather strange we learn that Vellocatus is paranoid in the extreme. Those of us who are not smart enough to accept that smoking cigarettes is good for you must be in cahoots with some vast anti-tobacco conspiracy.

I hope for Vellocatus' sake he's just trying to have some fun with us. Otherwise the men in the white coats cannot be far behind I think.
09:32 February 26, 2012 by Vellocatus
You're still avoiding the question poopsie!

How boringly predictable you guys are. You think you are 'smart' ? Ha! Only in your own little dream world! The 'everyone knows' that 'the debate is over' over-used soundbites aren't working anymore - except to a very few, easily led, fools and myopic denialists.
13:59 February 26, 2012 by boopsie
OK, OK, I confess, I'm really the president of the anti - smoking lobby. I admit it - smoking cigarettes is the best thing you can do for your health. Get you children started today!
15:18 February 26, 2012 by Vellocatus
President! If there was such a position, and given the mean intellect of your average anti-smoker nutter, it wouldn't surprise me.
14:16 February 27, 2012 by boopsie
Well, they're not nearly as brain dead as folks that refuse to acknowledge that smoking kills.
03:44 February 29, 2012 by geneb
Don't worry about this "Vellocatus." Google him. As you've surmised, he's some sort of weird international campaigner, flooding message boards with swill, much in the same way the Flat Earth's Charles K. Johnson would have.

And he's so outraged! Why, how dare people take the word of normal, open, peer-reviewed scientists--with names(!)--over the vituperative ravings of an anonymous spammer with an eggshell ego and completely unknown (but clearly inferior) qualifications?

How can purple prose like "the intellect of a typical gullible anti-smoker! ie. A brainwashed, mentally unstable, truly ugly person, clearly suffering from abnegation after having read some truths in my comments" fail to convince all and sundry that it is he and only he who is the very embodiment of reasoned objectivity and Absolute Truthiness?

Whatever his game, you're right, "the men in the white coats cannot be far behind."
Today's headlines
Obama to visit Berlin in last presidential trip to Germany
President Barack Obama and Chancellor Angela Merkel during a Berlin trip in 2013. Photo: DPA.

The White House announced on Tuesday that US President Barack Obama will be paying one last unexpected visit to the German capital - his last before he leaves office.

Hostility towards minorities 'widespread in Bavaria'
A village in southern Bavaria. Photo: DPA.

Hate and hostility towards groups deemed to be different are not just sentiments felt by fringe extremists, a new report on Bavaria shows.

Hated RB Leipzig emerge as shock challengers to Bayern
RB Leipzig. Photo: DPA

RB Leipzig's remarkable unbeaten start to the Bundesliga season has seen them suddenly emerge at the head of the pack chasing reigning champions and league leaders Bayern Munich.

Munich taxi driver in hospital after attack by British tourists
Photo: DPA

A taxi driver had to be hospitalized in Munich on Monday evening after three British tourists refused to pay their fare and then attacked him.

German police carry out nationwide anti-terror raids
Police outside a building in Jena during raids on Tuesday. Photo: DPA

Police forces in five German states carried out raids on Tuesday morning with the aim of tackling the financing of terror groups, police in Thuringia have reported.

The Local List
10 ways German completely messes up your English
Photo: DPA

So you've mastered German, but now it's time to learn English all over again.

Iconic German church being eroded away by human urine
Ulm Minster towering over the rest Ulm surrounding the Danube. Photo: Pixabay

It will now cost you €100 to spend a penny. That’s if you get caught choosing to pee against the world-famous Ulm Minster.

German small arms ammo exports grow ten-fold
Photo: DPA

The government has come in for criticism after new figures revealed that Germany exported ten times the quantity of small arms ammunition in the first half of 2016 as in the same period last year.

14-year-old stabs 'creepy clown' in prank gone wrong
File photo: DPA.

A 16-year-old in Berlin decided he wanted to scare some friends, but his plot backfired in a violent way.

Four Ku Klux Klan groups active in Germany, says govt
An American member of the KKK at a gathering in Georgia. Photo: EPA.

The German government estimates that there are four Ku Klux Klan (KKK) groups currently active in the country, according to a report by the Süddeutsche Zeitung (SZ) on Tuesday.

Germany's 10 most weird and wonderful landmarks
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd