A third of Germans smoke cigarettes. The pandemic is said to be to blame, which is causing many to smoke again. The health risks also increase accordingly.
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 epidemiologist and Debra director Daniel Kotz on the occasion of World No Tobacco Day on May 31.
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. "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, around 75,500 people died in Germany in 2020 as a result of smoking.
According to this, lung and bronchial cancer, larynx or trachea cancer was the cause of death in a good 46,000 smokers, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in around 29,000. In women, the risk of dying from a corresponding tumor has increased by 73 percent within 20 years: according to statistics, around 23 women per 100,000 inhabitants died of lung and bronchial cancer in 2000, and in 2020 it was almost 40. In men, they went Case numbers, on the other hand, fell slightly from 73 to 68 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants in the same period. "One reason for this could be the significantly increased proportion of smokers in the female population since the 1950s," said the Federal Office.
According to statistics, the per capita consumption of cigarettes fell by around 21 percent between 2011 and 2021. On average, however, every adult in Germany smokes 1,033 cigarettes per year. For comparison: In 2002, per capita consumption was still 2161 cigarettes. In the case of cigars and cigarillos, the average annual consumption per capita fell from 63 to 40.
According to the statisticians, the actual consumption of tobacco in Germany is likely to be somewhat higher than that stated in the current figures: Only tobacco products taxed in Germany were taken into account for the analysis. Own imports or cigarettes bought on the black market do not appear in it.