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Smoking ban: “We could prevent many deaths”

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Smoking ban: “We could prevent many deaths”

Don’t even start: Great Britain wants to ban future generations from buying cigarettes. A big step forward, says epidemiologist Ute Mons. Also a role model for Germany?

Will such images soon be a thing of the past? Two people smoke in front of a bar. © Dolly Faibyshev/​The New York Times/​Redux/​laif

There is currently discussion in Germany about introducing a cigarette ban, as the British are planning. The minimum age from which you can buy cigarettes will soon be raised every year. In the first step from 18 to 19 years, in the next step to 20 and so on. If something like this were implemented now, young people who are 17 years old or younger would never be able to buy tobacco products.

THE TIME: Ms. Mons, you have been studying the effects of smoking bans for years. Could the planned British cigarette ban be a model for Germany?

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