World No Tobacco Day is approaching and the number of smokers is increasing again. This is the result of a new long-term study on the smoking behavior of Germans. Why is that? The researchers have a suspicion.

The proportion of smokers in Germany continues to rise. It is currently almost 33 percent for people over the age of 14, according to the representative long-term study “German survey on smoking behavior” (Debra).

Before the corona pandemic (end of 2019 and beginning of 2020), the proportion of smokers in the population aged 14 and over was around 26 to 27 percent. By the end of 2021, the rate had risen to 30.9 percent. It is a frightening development, says the epidemiologist and Debra director Daniel Kotz of the German Press Agency on the occasion of World No Tobacco Day on May 31st.

Professor Kotz heads the addiction research focus at the University Clinic Düsseldorf at the Center for Health and Society. The increasing smoking rate in general is probably an effect of the pandemic. It is a so-called Corona late consequence that people are increasingly turning to tobacco products.

Tobacco-free Germany? “There is a lot to do on the part of politics”

“I don’t see any connection with the war,” said the researcher when asked about the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine. With a view to World No Tobacco Day, Kotz said: “Politics have a lot to do if Germany wants to become tobacco-free by 2040.”

As reported by the Federal Statistical Office in Wiesbaden on the occasion of World No Tobacco Day, around 75,500 people in Germany died in 2020 as a result of smoking. By far the most common cause of death was cancer.