'Long overdue': German coalition agrees to ban tobacco advertising
Advertising tobacco products in German streets will be banned from January 2022, according to a draft law released on Thursday, following a U-turn by the governing conservatives.
Although tobacco advertising is outlawed in the media, Germany is the only European Union country that still allows street posters and cinema advertising.
The bill, due to be debated in parliament next week, was agreed after long negotiations among the governing coalition.
A similar initiative in 2016 failed after it was opposed by Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative CDU/CSU bloc, but the party changed its position at the end of last year.
The proposed law includes plans to end free distribution of cigarettes at events and limit advertising in cinemas to films aimed at adults.
The advertising ban will be widened to include electronic cigarettes by 2024.
The new measures, combined with existing restrictions, are an "effective way to lower the number of smokers" in Germany, according to the bill.
"Limiting tobacco advertising on the street and in cinemas is long overdue," Julia Klöckner, the minister responsible for consumer protection, told local media.
"Above all, we have to protect young people, so that ideally they don't even start smoking."
Some 15 percent of German adults smoked cigarettes every day compared with an EU average of 19 percent, according to EU data from 2014.