Overview of the consumer protection department

Pro Rauchfrei’s consumer protection department serves as a nationwide central point of contact for citizens, companies, organizations, members and supporters with questions, suggestions and complaints relating to non-smoker rights. One sign of our success is that the number of cases is constantly increasing: more and more citizens are turning to us and seeking our advice. It is the busiest department in the association, dealing with over 100 cases a year, some of them very extensive.

The tasks of the unit include:

  • Communication with committed citizens – answering incoming inquiries from citizens, members and supporters on the subject of non-smoker protection.
  • Case practice – examining non-compliance complaints relating to non-smoker protection legislation or other legal standards (e.g. unlawful tobacco advertising) and resolving the conflict in cooperation with the relevant authorities.
  • Lobbying – contacting ministries, authorities, district governments and other public bodies on issues arising in specific cases and coordinating the successful implementation of effective non-smoker protection.
  • Support for employees – it happens time and again that fresh employees ask Pro Rauchfrei for support because they do not have a smoke-free workplace or break room. Employees (especially trainees) rarely want to lodge a complaint with their boss in this regard. Pro Rauchfrei takes care of the mediation and ensures that the workplace ordinance is enforced by the competent supervisory authority for occupational health and safety.
  • Non-smoker legislation – evaluation of case law on the subject of non-smoker protection, compilation of legally relevant information for the association, support for members within the framework of the Legal Services Act.
  • Team practice – supporting other association bodies with questions that arise and taking on cases that are brought to the consumer protection department by other association departments for reasons of responsibility.

Since 2017, the association has been one of the qualified institutions entitled to bring collective actions under the Injunctions Act. The relevant list is maintained by the Federal Office of Justice.