Government should work harder to enforce and extend anti smoking ban

Graphic via Tornos News

Tornos News /eKathimerini — On the occasion of World No Smoking Day on Tuesday, the Hellenic Anti-cancer Institute has called on the government to redouble efforts to enforce an anti-smoking ban in restaurants, bars and other public places but also to extend the ban to children’s playgrounds, beaches and squares.

The institute called on the government to work harder to enforce anti-smoking laws and to also adopt European legislation as relates to tobacco product packaging, where the health warning covers most of the package.

Authorities are also being pressed to make greater efforts to protect children from secondhand smoke by banning smoking in playgrounds, on beaches, in city squares and other public places frequented by children.

According to the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) 67% of Greeks are non-smokers, compared to 27% who smoke and 6% who identified as occasional smokers.

ELSTAT recorded that 28% of Greeks were exposed to passive smoking at home, while 79% in clubs, bars and restaurants were forced to inhale others’ smoke.

Recent studies indicated Greeks felt anger that their country was the only one in the EU where anti-smoking laws were not enforced saying this was indicative of low cultural mentality embedded in the people.