Germans are smoking more in 2023, figures reveal

Germans are smoking more in 2023, figures reveal

Figures from the German Association of the Tobacco Industry and New Products (BVTE) have revealed that, in the first half of 2023, Germans were more prone to spark up a cigarette.

Germans smoked more than usual in first half of 2023

While the overall trend shows a decline in smoking in Germany, something happened during the first half of 2023 that meant people in the federal republic needed a cigarette again.

That is according to figures from the German Association of the Tobacco Industry and New Products (BVTE), which were presented at a trade fair in Dortmund by CEO Jan Mücke.

According to Mücke, tobacco sales increased by 3 percent during the first seven months of the year, which is a considerable jump following last year’s decrease of 8,3 percent.

Mücke claimed that an early start to summer in Germany was likely the cause of people smoking more, since socialising outside in the sunshine often encourages such behaviour.

Smoking and drinking are on the decline

That said, overall Germans are smoking less and are more regularly turning to non-alcoholic beer alternatives. Germany is seeing a historic low when it comes to cigarette sales, and the number of non-alcoholic beer brands on the market in Germany has doubled in the past 13 years.

But on the international stage, Germany still fares pretty badly when it comes to helping people kick the habit. Upon the publication of its ninth annual report on global tobacco consumption, the World Health Organisation (WHO) condemned the federal republic for being slow to implement preventative policies over the past 15 years.

Director for Health Promotion at the WHO Rüdiger Krech said that the current smoking policy in Germany is of “great concern”. Across the federal republic buying cigarettes and tobacco is still affordable, and while there is an indoor smoking ban, many bars and nightclubs allow customers to smoke.

However, this attitude is changing in some cities, such as Berlin - where local authorities recently announced that they would start cracking down on venues that are found breaking the smoking ban.

Thumb image credit: Stefan Milivojevic /

Olivia Logan


Olivia Logan

Editor for Germany at IamExpat Media. Olivia first came to Germany in 2013 to work as an Au Pair. Since studying English Literature and German in Scotland, Freiburg and Berlin...

Read more



Leave a comment