Tobacco and Alcohol Use
Cigarette consumption in Germany rose steadily until the mid-1970s. Then it leveled off and began to decline slightly in the early 1980s. Surveys show that approximately 50% of the male population smoked in the early 1970s. Since then, that percentage has gradually declined, reaching 35.5.% in 1996. In the early 1980s, approximately 30% of the female population were smokers. This decreased slightly in the late 1980s, and the percentage of female smokers in 1996 was about 26%. Smoking habits can vary significantly among different are ranges.
The percentage of smokers relative to the total population also shows considerable geographic variation. Questions included in the microcensus of 1978 showed that the Saarland had the highest percentage of smokers, equal to 65% of the adult population, followed by North Rhine-Westphalia with approximately 60%. The lowest percentages, at just under 40%, were reported in Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria. Corresponding data are not available for the former GDR.
Alcohol consumption in Germany has risen steadily over the past decades. It was initially higher in the west and than in the east, but by the 1980s the consumption rates had become approximately equal. Today Germany has one of the highest rates of alcohol consumption in the world.
Table: Tobacco and Alcohol Consumption in Germany