Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Helmut Schmidt and Smoking

Anyone who doesn't read is an idiot," said former Chancellor Helmut Schmidt in Hooked on cigarettes, former Chancellor Schmidt nabbed by justice

Berlin (AFP) — Former German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt, rarely seen without a cigarette between his lips, is the subject of court proceedings for having smoked in a public place, despite anti-tobacco laws, a judicial source has told us on Friday.
Mister Schmidt, eighty-nine years old, and his wife Hannelore are the subjects of a preliminary inquiry for "violation of tobacco law" and "assault and battery", following an official complaint filed by the heads of an anti-tobacco association in Wiesbaden (center-west), as explained to Agence France Presse by Hamburg (north) public prosecutor Rüdiger Bagger, confirming information reported in the popular journal Bild.
The legal trouble dates from January first of this year, when Mister Schmidt (Social Democratic Chancellor from 1974 to 1982) was photographed in the act of smoking at a Hamburg theatre, in spite of a new prohibition on smoking in public which had come into force in the city.
Mister Bagger suggested that prosecutions for "assault and battery", provided in the criminal code for a case of "endangering the health of others", could be abandoned in the short term, but recidivism by Schmidt or his wife would subject them to financial penalty.
Of course the Schmidts, man and wife, are famously addicted to cigarettes. A few years back, Mrs. Schmidt propounded that smoking was "good for the brain."

an interview for Die Zeit's weekly magazine LEBEN on Thursday, Jan. 24.

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