One of the textbook characters who teaches my son German is an Alpine grandpa who smokes a pipe. He’s a cute little guy and the pipe suits him.
In England, such a tobacco-smoking pedagogical smurf would be utterly verboten. Utterly.
Not so in Austria. But then I’ve noticed a different approach to smoking here. Not only do people smoke more, there are subtle differences in the way smoking is perceived. Hence the smoking grandpa and a difference between health warnings contained on tobacco advertising.
Cigarette billboards in the UK have a full third taken up with scary warnings like: “SMOKING KILLS!” or “SMOKING GIVES YOU CANCER” or “SMOKING KILLS CHILDREN” or (worst of all) “SMOKING CAUSES IMPOTENCE.”
In Austria the warning is less dramatic. The notice at the bottom says: Rauchen kann tödlich sein (“Smoking can kill”). Can kill. Might Kill. Could kill. May kill. But will kill? No.