Documents Show Tobacco Industry Conspired Against Airline Smoking Ban

SmokingAn analysis of tobacco industry documents published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) tells how the German cigarette industry worked to stop Lufthansa, the flagship airline of Germany, from banning smoking on its domestic flights in the early 1990s. Documents also reveal that German tobacco companies worked to keep cigarette vending machines accessible to children, stop higher taxes on cigarettes, block a ban on tobacco advertising and recruit doctors and scientists to serve as "expert witnesses" to testify against the health dangers of tobacco. One of the paper's authors, Martina Pötschke-Langer, who heads the World Health Organization's Collaboration Centre for Tobacco Control at the German Cancer Research Centre in Heidelberg, said "The campaign against Lufthansa's non-smoking flights appears to be especially vicious, since pressure was applied to the government as well as to public opinion via the mass media." Lufthansa started working to ban smoking on German domestic flights in 1989, but wasn't successful until 1996.