Germany seeks smoking ban on trains

14th February 2007, Comments 0 comments

14 February 2007, Berlin (dpa) - Germany's government agreed Wednesday to introduce legislation that would ban smoking in trains and other transport as well as raising the legal age to buy cigarettes from 16 to 18. However the government has already said it has no power to ban smoking in restaurants, which fall under the authority of Germany's 16 states. The German tobacco industry has lobbied against bans. Currently, German long-distance trains provide smoker carriages, but many operators of city trains a

14 February 2007

Berlin (dpa) - Germany's government agreed Wednesday to introduce legislation that would ban smoking in trains and other transport as well as raising the legal age to buy cigarettes from 16 to 18.

However the government has already said it has no power to ban smoking in restaurants, which fall under the authority of Germany's 16 states. The German tobacco industry has lobbied against bans.

Currently, German long-distance trains provide smoker carriages, but many operators of city trains and domestic airlines ban smoking.

A mandatory ban on smoking in trains, buses, ferries and aircraft as well as in stations and federal offices and a change in tobacco- sale rules will require approval from both chambers of the federal parliament. A smoking ban in taxis will also be sought.

Health ministers from the 16 states are set to meet next week to discuss a joint ban. Some states have said they would unilaterally ban smoking on private premises used by the public if no national agreement were reached.

Germany's constitution reserves many rights to the states and prevents interference by Berlin. However the national government has full authority over transport, enabling it to ban smoking on the move.

DPA

Subject: German news

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