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Tobacco use in Germany: Educational inequalities still persist

Smoking is one of the most important risk factors for many chronic diseases. In Germany alone, smoking leads to more than 120,000 deaths each year. Since the early 2000s, several tobacco control policies have been implemented in Germany, such as increases in tobacco taxes, smoking bans in the work­place, public buildings and public transport and raising the age limit for obtaining and consuming tobacco from 16 to 18 years. RKI researchers analysed how the tobacco use has changed since then – they show that the enforced tobacco control measures have two sides: On the one hand, adult smoking has declined since the early 2000s, from 36.1 per cent in 2003 to 31.7 per cent in 2012. On the other hand, educational inequalities in smoking still persist. Among men, such inequalities were found to have even widened since 2003. The findings which are now being published in the journal “Nicotine & Tobacco Research” emphasize that more targeted efforts are needed to tackle smoking-induced inequalities in health.

Date: 09.01.2018

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