According to the Federal Ministry of Health, smoking in the car should no longer be allowed in the future if children or pregnant women are traveling with them.
This ban, which has been demanded by the federal states for some time, is provided for in a draft bill to supplement the Federal Non-Smoking Protection Act, which is available to the German Press Agency. The editorial network Germany (RND) had reported first. The draft from the house of Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) would have to be coordinated with other departments before it is presented to the cabinet.
Accordingly, the smoking ban, which already applies in local public transport, for example, should also be implemented "in closed vehicles in the presence of minors or pregnant women". Since 2019, several federal states had launched initiatives to enforce this extension and imposed fines of up to 3,000 euros in the event of a violation. Most recently, in March 2022, the Bundesrat decided to introduce a corresponding draft law to the Bundestag.
The Lower Saxony state government justified this with reference to the German Cancer Research Center by saying that the concentration of tobacco in cars could be five times higher "than in an average smoky restaurant". For children and adolescents, this could cause damage to the lungs, respiratory diseases and middle ear infections. Lauterbach wants to extend this to e-cigarettes and cannabis products where there is a smoking ban by law.