Background/Aims: Hantaviruses are zoonotic pathogens causing emerging diseases worldwide. Patients typically present with fever, acute kidney injury (AKI) and thrombocytopenia. Puumala virus (PUUV) that causes nephropathia epidemica (NE) is common in Germany. Recently, a study from Finland revealed an association between nicotine consumption and the severity of AKI in NE. Differences between individuals in Finland and Germany might modulate the effect; therefore, the aim of our study was to prove that smoking is a risk factor for a severe course of NE in Germany. Methods: A cross-sectional prospective survey of 485 patients with hantavirus infections was performed. Clinical and laboratory data during the acute course of the disease were obtained from medical reports and files, while follow-up (including smoking status) data were collected prospectively. Results: Smoking information was available for 298 out of 485 patients (61%). Male was the predominant gender (67%), median age at the time of diagnosis was 50 (interquartile range, IQR 41-60) years and 34% of patients were current smokers during the phase of acute NE. Patients in the smoking group were significantly younger than in the non-smoking group (p < 0.0001). Peak serum creatinine levels were significantly higher in the smoking group than in the non-smoking patients (median 301 (IQR 186-469 μmol/l) vs. median 240 (IQR 137-469 μmol/l), p < 0.05). In addition, severe AKI (stages 2 and 3 using KDIGO criteria) was more common in current smokers (80%) than in the non-smokers (68%, p < 0.05). Conclusion: Current smoking is a risk factor for severity of AKI in patients with acute PUUV infection in Germany. Therefore, information about smoking habits needs to be an integral part of the documentation in patients with suspected acute PUUV infection, and increased monitoring of kidney function should be done in NE patients who are current smokers.