Greece to Introduce Smoking Ban
After several smoking ban laws in the last decade have been frequently forgotten about by Greeks, who use tobacco products more than any other European country, the government has promised yet another attack and said it will introduce stricter checks in public areas.
The Health Ministry’s General Secretary, Christina Papanikolaou has released a circular calling for the improvement of checks at public places by inspectors responsible for the enactment of the law launched in 2010 that was quickly broken almost everywhere with no enforcement.
The new trend of inspections is predicted to deal with opposition from entrepreneurs who argue that the smoking ban will affect business amid the ongoing financial crisis, the same arguments they make every time Greece passes alleged smoking bans.
In November 2012, the Council of State decided that the ban was in line with Greek law and the Constitution, after 150 business owners and the Panhellenic Federation of Restaurants and Related Professions filed an appeal against it.
In spite of that, the law remains broken and non-smokers have no alternative when they go into public places, including hospitals, where people pretty much smoke anywhere they want.
Public workers, such as those in post offices and government buildings, as well as police, doctors, and bus drivers also light up without be concerned about being checked or fined. Members of Parliament also freely use cigarettes in the building where they passed the ban, neglecting their own law. There was no word on whether inspectors would try to stop smoking, check on them, or fine them at the same time those in other public places could be fined.
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