Germany may ban smoking while driving
Germany may outlaw smoking in cars because it is a health hazard and a safety risk, the government's commissioner for substance abuse Sabine Baetzing said.
"We're examining whether it would be possible to ban smoking while driving and how that would work," she told the Kurier am Sonntag newspaper in an excerpt made available on Saturday.
She said a ban on smoking in cars was urgently needed even if it would represent an invasion of privacy.
"We've got to ask ourselves if traffic safety and health protection should not take precedence. Smoke fumes inside a car are many times higher than in other areas."
Germany has moved slower than most of the rest of the European Union to restrict smoking, and German bars and restaurants are often filled with smokers.
But Baetzing said the government was committed to protecting non-smokers.
"In Germany we can no longer afford to ignore the dangers of second-hand smoke," she said, adding that it was up to the 16 federal states to take a tougher stance.
The states are currently examining placing some restrictions on smoking in restaurants.