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Germany’s resistance to effective tobacco control is well recognised and is contributing to the rapidly rising rates of female smoking in former East Germany. But the German government’s recent acceptance of €11.8 million (US$11.6 million) of tobacco industry funding for a five year tobacco control programme purporting to prevent children and adolescents from smoking has caused further outcry. The German government claims such measures are in the interest of its population. It has clearly not read the internal documents that reveal the industry’s true attitude and the importance it attaches to encouraging rather than preventing youth smoking, nor evidence which suggests that at best such programmes are ineffective and at worst counterproductive. It should also perhaps re-read its contract with the industry, which explicitly stipulates that “the cigarette industry, their products or cigarette trading must not be discriminated against and adult smokers must not be denigrated”. This must clarify therefore, for those in any doubt, that the campaign was never intended to discourage youth smoking.