For Bergisch-Gladbach, the children are worth ist

Half past seven in the morning somewhere in Germany: boys and girls with school backpacks are still blinking sleepily at the walls of the bus shelters, from where a brightly colored, larger-than-life invitation to smoke beckons. Morning after morning, inescapable.

But not in Bergisch Gladbach for the next 15 years. This is how long advertising for tobacco and liquor is to be banned from the city’s advertising spaces in bus shelters. For years, citizens of the city have been fighting for this, for years the city has been looking for an advertising partner with whom it could implement this project. The ban means less advertising revenue, because the tobacco industry in particular invests a lot of money in new customer advertising – and not without reason, because a young person who becomes addicted to nicotine today is very likely to remain a “loyal” customer for many years. For all those who die off for the tobacco companies or stop smoking because of their ruined health, a new supply has to be recruited.

But Bergisch Gladbach wants to break this vicious circle and is accepting a loss of sales for the health of its non-smokers and not-yet-smokers. The city is thus setting an example of how things should actually look throughout Germany: no more outdoor advertising for tobacco products and thus a step further in the right direction – smoking should not be encouraged.

The new Bergisch Gladbach bus shelters without tobacco advertising will also have signs asking people not to smoke there.

Efforts to achieve the same goal have also been made in Cologne, but the city council there has so far been anything but cooperative.

If the German government were to finally implement the paper ratified in 2004 banning all tobacco advertising, as Pro Rauchfrei, other non-smoking organizations and medical associations have long been calling for, this would free up energy for other important prevention goals.

Translated with (free version)