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Health assessment of tobacco products

“Smoking endangers your health” and similar phrases have been well known to smokers for years. The assessment of the impact and risks of tobacco products and their consumption is part of the remit of BfR.

Cigarettes, cigars, pipe tobacco

The reviews of BfR focus on additives in cigarettes and other products such as cigars or pipe tobacco.

Water pipes

BfR also reviews water pipes which have become increasingly popular over the last years. They are also known as oriental tobacco pipes and – depending on the country of origin - under the name of shisha, boory, narghile, arghile, hookha, goza, or hubble-bubble.

Since an increasing number of adolescents smoke water pipes, BfR has again analysed the health risks and determined that the nicotine concentration in blood increases when smoking water pipes in a similar way as after cigarette consumption.

In addition, water pipe smoke contains the same harmful and potentially addictive substances (nicotine, tar, carbon monoxide, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) as cigarette smoke.

Legal bases

On the European level, the tobacco directive 2014/40/EU (TPD) regulates the manufacture, presentation and sale of tobacco and related products.

In Germany, the TPD is implemented into national law with the act on tobacco products and the ordinance on tobacco products


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