Anti-tobacco movement in Nazi Germany

  • a nazi-era anti-smoking ad titled "the chain-smoker" reading: "he does not devour it, it devours him" (from the anti-tobacco publication reine luft, 1941;23:90)[1]

    in the early 20th century, german researchers made advances in linking smoking to health harms,[2][3][1] which strengthened the anti-tobacco movement in the weimar republic[4] and led to a state-supported anti-smoking campaign.[5] early anti-tobacco movements grew in many nations from the middle of the 19th century.[6][7] the 1933–1945 anti-tobacco campaigns in nazi germany have been widely publicized,[8][9][10] although stronger laws than those passed in germany were passed in some american states, the uk, and elsewhere between 1890 and 1930.[11][12] after 1941, anti-tobacco campaigns were restricted by the nazi government.[9]

    the german movement was the most powerful anti-smoking movement in the world during the 1930s and early 1940s.[1] however, tobacco control policy was incoherent and ineffective, with uncoordinated and often regional efforts by many actors. obvious measures were not taken, and existing measures were not enforced. some[9] nazi leaders condemned smoking[13] and several of them openly criticized tobacco consumption,[1] but others publicly smoked and denied that it was harmful.[9]

    there was much research on smoking and its effects on health during nazi rule,[14] and it was the most important of its type at that time.[15] a directly-supported tobacco research institute produced work of only marginal scientific importance,[16] but substantial academic work was done privately, with little to negative official support.[3][9]

    adolf hitler's personal distaste for tobacco[17] and the nazi reproductive policies were among the motivating factors behind the nazi campaigns against smoking.[18] the nazi anti-tobacco campaign included banning smoking in trams, buses, and city trains,[1] promoting health education,[19] limiting cigarette rations in the wehrmacht, organizing medical lectures for soldiers, and raising the tobacco tax.[1] the nazis also imposed restrictions on tobacco advertising and smoking in public spaces, and regulated restaurants and coffeehouses.[1] these measures were widely circumvented or ignored.[9]

    the movement did not reduce the number of smokers. tobacco use increased rapidly in the early years of the nazi regime, between 1933 and 1939.[20] the number of smokers increased from 1939 to 1945, but cigarette consumption declined;[9][21] rationing towards the end of the war[9] and post-war poverty[1] meant that the increasing numbers of smokers could not buy as many cigarettes.[9] nazi-related nicotine marketing messages have often been used to oppose tobacco control, and criticized for historical inaccuracy.[10][9] even by the end of the 20th century, the anti-smoking movement in germany had not attained the influence of the nazi anti-smoking campaign. germany has some of the weakest tobacco control measures in europe, and german tobacco research has been described as "muted".[20]

  • prelude
  • research
  • political motives
  • measures
  • countermeasures and obstacles
  • economic pressures
  • effectiveness
  • association with antisemitism and racism
  • after world war ii
  • see also
  • references
  • further reading

A Nazi-era anti-smoking ad titled "The chain-smoker" reading: "He does not devour it, it devours him" (from the anti-tobacco publication Reine Luft, 1941;23:90)[1]

In the early 20th century, German researchers made advances in linking smoking to health harms,[2][3][1] which strengthened the anti-tobacco movement in the Weimar Republic[4] and led to a state-supported anti-smoking campaign.[5] Early anti-tobacco movements grew in many nations from the middle of the 19th century.[6][7] The 1933–1945 anti-tobacco campaigns in Nazi Germany have been widely publicized,[8][9][10] although stronger laws than those passed in Germany were passed in some American states, the UK, and elsewhere between 1890 and 1930.[11][12] After 1941, anti-tobacco campaigns were restricted by the Nazi government.[9]

The German movement was the most powerful anti-smoking movement in the world during the 1930s and early 1940s.[1] However, tobacco control policy was incoherent and ineffective, with uncoordinated and often regional efforts by many actors. Obvious measures were not taken, and existing measures were not enforced. Some[9] Nazi leaders condemned smoking[13] and several of them openly criticized tobacco consumption,[1] but others publicly smoked and denied that it was harmful.[9]

There was much research on smoking and its effects on health during Nazi rule,[14] and it was the most important of its type at that time.[15] A directly-supported tobacco research institute produced work of only marginal scientific importance,[16] but substantial academic work was done privately, with little to negative official support.[3][9]

Adolf Hitler's personal distaste for tobacco[17] and the Nazi reproductive policies were among the motivating factors behind the Nazi campaigns against smoking.[18] The Nazi anti-tobacco campaign included banning smoking in trams, buses, and city trains,[1] promoting health education,[19] limiting cigarette rations in the Wehrmacht, organizing medical lectures for soldiers, and raising the tobacco tax.[1] The Nazis also imposed restrictions on tobacco advertising and smoking in public spaces, and regulated restaurants and coffeehouses.[1] These measures were widely circumvented or ignored.[9]

The movement did not reduce the number of smokers. Tobacco use increased rapidly in the early years of the Nazi regime, between 1933 and 1939.[20] The number of smokers increased from 1939 to 1945, but cigarette consumption declined;[9][21] rationing towards the end of the war[9] and post-war poverty[1] meant that the increasing numbers of smokers could not buy as many cigarettes.[9] Nazi-related nicotine marketing messages have often been used to oppose tobacco control, and criticized for historical inaccuracy.[10][9] Even by the end of the 20th century, the anti-smoking movement in Germany had not attained the influence of the Nazi anti-smoking campaign. Germany has some of the weakest tobacco control measures in Europe, and German tobacco research has been described as "muted".[20]

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