Nicotine - A Drug with a Future

A film by Bärbel Merseburger-Sill, 90 min., ZDF/Arte 2020

The number of smokers in Europe is declining, yet the tobacco industry is still making considerable profits. Electronic innovations such as e-cigarettes and tobacco heaters play a significant role in this. Both are said to be far less harmful than conventional cigarettes. But is the aromatic steam really not a danger to our health?

Officially, the tobacco industry is committed to a ‘smoke-free world’: Non-smokers should not start at all, smokers should switch to an electronic device. But isn’t this too good to be true? Aren’t the advertising campaigns aimed specifically at young non-smokers, the consumers of tomorrow?

And what about the influence of the industry through lobbying? To what extent are the health hazards of the dangerous drug nicotine concealed? Despite numerous lawsuits against the tobacco industry and counter campaigns by politicians and NGOs, tobacco and the new e-products remain good business.