Germany has banned smoking in rail stations, public transport, and federal buildings. Also the government will raise the legal age for buying tobacco to 18:More bad news about smoking, actually, bad news and smoking kind of go hand in hand. Anyway, the AFP reports
"We regulated what we could at the federal level," health minister Ulla Schmidt said after the vote.
"I think that a lot of people can now literally breathe a sigh of relief."
Consumer Affairs Minister Horst Seehofer said the law would mark "a big leap forward" in protecting Germans from second-hand smoke after attempts to allow facilities to introduce voluntary bans proved ineffective.
A federal study released Monday showed that only 11 percent of restaurants have created non-smoking sections, far below the 60 percent the industry agreed to maintain in March 2005 if the government refrained from passing legislation.