Four large multinational companies, namely, Philip Morris, British American Tobacco (BAT), Japan Tobacco, and Reemtsma, dominate Germany’s tobacco market. Philip Morris, with a market share of approximately 37%, is the leading manufacturer and distributor of tobacco and its related products in the country, followed by Reemtsma and BAT at 25% and 19%, respectively (Jakobs and Ott). In the past, corporations have significantly profited from the smoking prevalence in the nation, with some studies showing high rates of up to 27% among the adult population (Kastaun 1). Although the number of smoking occurrences is still high, recent tobacco advertisement regulations and people’s growing support for anti-tobacco policies have reduced tobacco sales and consumption in Germany.
The current situation of the German tobacco market reflects the already established federal policies to lower the rate of tobacco use among citizens. Industry analysis reveals a significant decline in cigarette sales from 146.5 billion in 1991 to 75 billion in 2016 (Kuntz et al. 81). Similarly, tobacco sales dropped by 26% from 161 billion in 1998 to 119 billion in 2014 (Heilert and Kaul 2). A global review of the tobacco market pattern shows a similar trend over the last four decades.
In 2015, the number of cigarettes per person each year reduced from approximately 2,300 in 1975 to 1,200 in 2015 (Hoffman et al. 6). Such shifts in consumption are associated with the introduction and enforcement of new national legislation, which prohibits advertising of tobacco on TV, radio, and print publications, such as newspapers (“Tobacco Control Laws”). Besides, the positive reception of the new rules among members of the public is evident, with 57.3%, 40%, and 22.9% of the population supporting taxing tobacco industry profits, raising the legal age of sale, and banning the product, respectively (Boeckmann et al. 11). Overall, the German government’s efforts to implement abrasive regulations have been an issue of concern among the most prominent market players in the country.
“Tobacco Control Laws.” Legislation by Country, 17 September 2019, www.tobaccocontrollaws.org/legislation/country/germany/summary. Accessed 21 Sep. 2019.
Boeckmann, Melanie et al. “German Public Support for Tobacco Control Policy Measures: Results from the German Study on Tobacco Use (DEBRA), a Representative National Survey.” International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, vol.15, no. 696, 2018, pp. 1-15.
Heilert, Daniela, and Kaul, Ashok. “Smoking Behavior in Germany: Evidence from the SOEP.” Working Paper, no. 245, 2017, pp. 1-104.
Hoffman, Steven et al. Cigarette Consumption Estimates for 71 Countries from 1970 to 2015: Systematic Collection of Comparable Data to Facilitate Quasi-experiment Evaluations of National and Global Tobacco Control Interventions. BMJ, vol. 365. no. 2231, 2019, pp. 1-9.
Jakobs, Hans-Jurgen, and Stephanie Ott. “German Tobacco Lobby Strikes Back: Where There’s Smoke, There’s a Lobby Group.” Handelsblatt, 14 March 2018, www.handelsblatt.com/today/companies/smoke-free-future-german-tobacco-lobby-strikes-back/23581460.html?ticket=ST-12961109-vijxpC3FwwZYsfjeGspf-ap5. Accessed 21 September 2019.
Kaustan, Sabrina et al. “Study Protocol of the German Study on Tobacco Use (DEBRA): A National Household Survey of Smoking Behavior and Cessation.” BMC Public Health, vol. 17, no. 378, 2017, pp. 1-8.
Kuntz, Benjamin et al. “Trends in Tobacco Sales in Germany.” Journal of Health Monitoring, vol. 2, no.2, 2017, pp. 78-85.