Smoking kills. In Germany, 120,000 people die of smoking-related causes every year, according to Marlene Mortler, the German government’s drug commissioner. With everyone aware of the dangers, what can one do to stop people from grabbing their next pack of cigarettes in the supermarket? Politicians have put their faith in gruesome images. That’s why the European Union came up with a law in 2014 saying that two-thirds of a cigarette pack must be covered by “health-relevant warnings” in the form of text and pictures.
Now Germany will put the EU regulation into practice as well. The government had already approved the regulation and on Friday, the Bundesrat, a legislative body where all of Germany’s 16 states are represented, was the last institution to agree to it. Starting May 20, smokers can expect to see black lungs and dead bodies on German cigarette packs as well.