Germany Agrees to Implement EU Tobacco Ad Ban

19 June 2006

Germany's new government, headed by the nation's first female chancellor Angela Merkel, has agreed to toe the European Union line on banning tobacco advertising.

Although the European Commission directive banning tobacco advertising came into effect last year, Germany, along with four other nations, refused to implement the ban.

It argued before the European Court of Justice that EC legal officials had exceeded their authority under the internal market provisions of the EU Treaty in passing the directive. Last Thursday that argument was dismissed by the court's advocate general.

In the wake of the decision, German consumer protection minister Horst Seehofer agreed to enact the directive. Said Seehofer: "We will promptly submit a bill to the Bundestag with the aim of bringing the country in line with EU recommendations on tobacco advertising."

German pro-tobacco sources claim the ban will eliminate over 40,000 jobs, mainly among small retailers and auto service stations. The nation's media will also bid auf wiedersehen to around €118 million ($149.0m; £80.6m) in ad revenues.

Meantime, four tobacco-friendly EU nations remain defiantly puffing: Spain, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Luxembourg.

Data sourced from; additional content by WARC staff