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Greece To Ban Electronic Cigarettes – Sharp Price Increases in Tobacco Products

Greece will ban the selling of “electronic cigarettes” as the National Organication for Medicines  (EOF) came to the conclusion that the E-cigarette is harmful to the human body due to substances like drops of nicotine, lugid ingredients and essential oils.  The EOF proposed the prohibition of both the sale and the use of e-cigarettes in Greece and the Health Ministry announced that strict controls will start next week.

Electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes, don’t burn tobacco. The battery-operated devices offer users a vapor of liquid ingredients, including nicotine. The ban of electronic cigarettes came into force recetly in the USA. Ray Story, chief executive of the Tobacco Vapor Electronic Cigarette Association told daily USATODAY that “the possible risks of his products are unproven”. Story claims that competitors that make regular cigarettes and products such as nicotine gum or patches were behind the proposed rule, the US daily noted.

Shocking Increases in Cigarette Prices

At the same time, the General Secretary for Public Health, Antonis Dimopoulos, said that the government is seriously considering to increase the prices of cigerettes at 20% in order to decrease the number of smokers in the country.

“For health reasons” you would think! I dare doubting it. The measure is purely tax-collection oriented, I suspect.

Papangiotis Behrakis, President of the National Committee for the Smoking Control, has already calculated the benefits for the state from the increased prices: 400 million euro.

Behrakis claimed that “an increase of 2 euro at every cig package would decrease the number of smokers at 460,000 and it would bring the state revenues at least €400 million”. Behrakis claimed further that expensive cigarettes can prohibit at least 150,000 young people from starting to smoke, and decrease the number of early deaths due to smoking at 235,000.

How the aimed decreased consumption will increase the targeted state revenues is another statistics miracle in the Greek fiscal sheets.

Anyway, Greek media report that the price increases will be announced after Christmas.

PS Since I read the news about the e-cigs ban I ‘ve been thinking of the new shop that is about to open nearby. The shop has been leased and it would sell solely e-cigarettes. The aspired businessman would have to overthrow his plans. Hopefully he didn’t get a bank loan for this purpose for his new business….

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30 comments

  1. Hippocrates or hypocrites? The latter, I am sure. If it was health they would ban cigarettes and e-cigarettes. And as cigarettes kill innocent bystanders too and e-cigarettes don’t, the fact that they ban the one that does not harm the innocent is an even greater hypocrisy. And I want that call murder by the state.
    Oh, and it is proven time and again that every increase of price here in Greece make smuggling more lucrative. I think some ‘neighbours’ will be over the moon with this.

  2. the more i live in this country the more i hate it and the people that govern it.

  3. keeptalkinggreece

    trapped here as well, jayjay?

  4. I can see why you hate the people who govern Greece more and more. But why hate the country? The country can’t help it. It is still one of the most beautiful and special places in the world to me.19

  5. Wow! What a smart move – first they cut the pay and benefits of the Greek people, now they want to ban e-cigarettes just so that they can conveniently raise the prices of cigarettes?! What kind of B.S. is that?!

    Raising the prices of cigarettes won’t help people to quit – it will only make them go more crazy, as they won’t be able to afford it and will coming down off of nicotine withdrawal. E-cigarettes could help people to quit, on the other hand, as they don’t contain all of the harmful and addictive substances that regular cigarettes have! (What a backwards way of thinking and what a poor excuse, Antonis Dimopoulos! Of course, I don’t think Mr. Dimopoulos has much control over this – as I think there are others above him that are calling the shots.)

  6. The biggest and most dangerous smokers are cars.

  7. E-Cigarettes are not banned in the USA. They are regulated as a tobacco product by the FDA. They cannot be banned as they are nothing to do with medicines, they are a consumer product. Next people will be talking about banning coffee percolators, it’s exactly the same thing.

    As in every country that talks about banning e-cigs, it’s done due to pressure by the pharmaceutical industry, who will lose millions.

  8. The sad part Antonis is that years ago when I first started visiting Greece, an American diplomat told me that “Greece would be a great place if it wasn’t for the Greeks.” Now, I don’t know exactly what Greeks he was talking about, but I suppose you could attribute that to whatever you like.

    But, you are correct. Whether it’s the pushy behavior in lines at supermarkets, banks etc, to littering the country side with dog poop and trash, or just plain ole Animal abuse (as KTG has even noted), there are at least 50% of the Greeks that are really mean and nasty.

    BUT, the other 50% of the people are truly wonderful and those are the folks I gravitate to. It’s a daily crap shoot wondering which 50% I’ll deal with each day in my daily routine, but life is not supposed to be easy.

    So, the question to everyone? Which 50% are you? Think about it the next time you encounter someone who may be foreign and the image you are projecting of your Greek Country.

  9. keeptalkinggreece

    i fully agree! the smog over Athens is due to cars not due to smokers.

  10. keeptalkinggreece

    I belong to the 50% that thinks in every country there is a 50% full of nasty and mean people we don’t like.

  11. KGT, you may be right. From the eyes of a foreigner, life can look very scary. My best friend Aris says in London, the British treat him horrible because he is a more darker Greek (??), but I guess if you are the one who is different it appears worse than the locals who don’t have to deal with that part of the racism.

  12. Raising the price of cigarettes is good news for bordering countries like Bulgaria. Either the idiot that thought this 20% increase up lives in cloud cuckooland or he’s involved in the black market. Laws/regs only work if people obey them.

    The Health crazies have only achieved 2 things … filling their own pockets and damaging/destroying legitimate businesses.

  13. It is a world wide problems bound to prejudice and other factors. In Noway’s north they ‘avoid’ Germans (WWII) in the south ‘dark’ from European south. Similar was my experience in Sweden.

  14. i knew a guy who was studying in them midlands in england one night he was returning to his flat and he was tlaking on his phone to a friend in Greek. some group of people heard him speaking “foreign” and attacked him. he sufferer head injuries which affected his concentration and attention span, this wasnt too long ago it was around 2005-2006. my sister and her boyfriend got sweared at by people for speaking greek a couple of years ago. I suppose im lucky i havent has such treatment yet. but its a vicious circle. Greeks especially should not be racist considering how many of us have been poor immigrants in our history. how can we treat others that way when we all have family that has immigrated and was treated that way. do we never learn?

  15. I think you’ll find that the first bailout had conditions other than austerity. For Greece to receive the 1st bailout one of the conditions from the IMF/EU (UN/WHO) was that the smoking ban be strictly enforced, and the Greeks shouldn’t forget that the now defunct Paps family has pharmeceutical links. The reason they’ve banned the e-cig is because it’s taking profits away from the smoking cessation products manufactured by BP, and that it looks like a real cigarette, that and only that. You can count on the e-cigs being deemed safe when BP start producing them, which they will. As to SHS harming non-smokers, is a pile of manure, from the UN/WHO own research over 7 years SHS is NOT hamrful, but it didn’t fit the agenda so was supressed, but the useful idiots keep citing SHS that keeps the charade going. I bet the anti-smoking programmes in Greece are not feeling any austerity, while the deceit, lies & propaganda persist they are one of the few with secure employment. The anti-smoking lobby are as crooked as the banksters and politicans. I suspect Greece has been forced to raise tobacco taxes & ban the e-cig because anyone with a working brain cell knows it only benefits the black market, ask Ireland they’re angry that they’ve lost billions in TT to the balck market, yet still keep raising the tax, it’s what I call sh*t for brains, and what they lose on TT they’ll claw back from raising other taxes, it’s a vicious circle that no one has the balls to address, all politicans, bureaucrats, health mafia and useful idiots are too stupid or frightened to call a halt. And no they’re not quit devices, but as stated they look like a real cigarette, and they’ve become popular. Money, control & personal hatred by a few got this show on the road. The anti lobby are pure evil, whatever AntonisX will say to the contrary.

  16. Forgot to add, the anti-smoking DON’T really want people to stop smoking because it will put hundreds of thousands worldwide on the scrap heap, (where they belong I might add)deprive governments of billions of much needed ta. Perhaps the Greek government think that by banning e-cigs (very few use patches etc., anymore with their 98% failure rate) people will continue to pay extortionate prices for legal tobacco. But I’ve no doubt whatsoever they’ve been ordered to ban them as a condition of the 2nd bailout. If only there was a contagious virus that only infected politicans & their ilk, what a better place the world would be.

  17. I’m surprised that the Greeks wouldn’t be more tolerant and open minded on electronic cigarettes, which can help people avoid tobacco and save money, so see http://www.ecigwerks.blogspot.com for more.

  18. Smoking austerity due to bailout? sorry, can you prove it?

  19. KTG, perhaps you misread my comment, but I did not say smoking austerity. What I said was that when the 1st bailout was in the offing there was a condition, not the only one of course, via the IMF/EU/WHO that Greece implemented a strict smoking ban as the one in place was being ignored. I’ll try and find the link. You’ll be surprised at what influence & authority the WHO has. As an arm of the UN the WHO, believe it or not now has rsponsibility for transport, one of their sponsors, along with many others is Pfizer, a pharmaceutical company. Check it out I don’t make these things up. The UN/WHO are responsible for many policies that are implemented by the EU (though bureaucrats issue directives & diktats like confetti without any help from the UN/WHO) and thereby governments. At present they’re trying to change the USA gun policy, though congress has said if it interferes they will stop subsidising the UN, and they’re the biggest contributers. The UN/WHO are very dangerous organisations, the anti-smoking lobby took its lead from them. I know some on here actually think I’m some sort of conspiracy theorist, I’m not, you can check it all out, have a look at the UNs agenda 21, and its climate change agenda, also known as redistribution of wealth from the west to 3rd world countries, (they seem to think we’re all rolling in money) all laid out in black & white.

  20. Yes, please, find a link about bailout& WHOconnection. I have no idea.

  21. The Smokers Club, Inc. – Greece
    KTG, this is one of the links but it’s blocked? But as you can see it mentions the IMF bailout.————————

    Updatewww.smokersclubinc.com/modules.php?name=News&file…sid…CachedNot helpful? You can block http://www.smokersclubinc.com results when you’re signed in to search.www.smokersclubinc.com
    Block all http://www.smokersclubinc.com results
    You +1’d this publicly. Undo
    Concerning the failure of authorities to successfully enforce the smoking ban until …. plan mandated by an EU/IMF bailout to ease Greece’s sovereign debt crisis. … One of the problems seems to be that bar and cafe owners have submitted …

  22. I’ll look into the WHO, as stated they have such a lot of influence & power. The good news is the WHO has run out of money, they need £4 billion to continue it’s social engeering programme. 🙂

  23. Behrakis has recently invited Pr Connolly from Harvard to scheme over these new anti-smoking measures. But Connolly should be looking at the U.S.A.’s own tobacco problems before trying to give lessons to Greece. While smoking prevalence was consistently going down before the heavy artillery measures that modern anti-tobacco lobbyists shoved down people’s throats , it has been more or less stagnating since 2004 and this in spite of substantial tax increases, costly anti-smoking campaigns and smoking bans in the USA. Furthermore a contraband problem has been created everywhere extortionist taxation has been implemented. With an already important contraband problem through the Piraeus gateway, Greece is leaving itself wide open to counterfeit cigarettes entering the country to supply the demand for cheaper tobacco products. People don’t stop smoking when prices reach unaffordable levels, they simply stop smoking legal products! Does Greece seriously think it can afford to lose that tax revenue to contraband?

    And if the health minister truly wanted to improve people’s health, why is he banning e-cigarettes which are showing promising results to help people in either cutting down or totally stopping their tobacco habit and are legal in most western countries including UK and USA (not true that they have been banned in the USA). Is he seriously trying to convince the Greek public with a straight face that 3 smokeless chemicals (nicotine, propylene glycol, and flavoring) that electronic cigarettes contain are more harmful than the thousands of chemicals tobacco produces when it burns? He could care less about people’s health. The only reason he’s banning them is because they compete with Big Pharma cessation products and we all know who runs every health department in the so called civilized world!

  24. At the end of the day, noboby believed at the ‘good will’ purposes of the e-cig ban.

  25. I am sick to death of this bs!! Pretty soon they will tax us on the air we breathe!! Or the time we sleep!!I hate this place and wish for some way to get out-to save my family and myself. Greece is now just a gloriied summer spot to come and swim and look at the natives (like you would animals at a zoo)who are suffering while the tourists drink their 6$ frappe and “ts ts ts” and those “violent greeks” who demonstrate etc.. Years from now, kids will look at a map and say “oh yeah, that was once Greece, home of Leonidas, Megas Alexandros and the home of Democracy”

  26. @Ralph
    I am of Greek origin from two generations ago, but never lived in Greece per se. I visited Greece about 6 years ago and unless the people drastically changed since, I found the complete opposite of what you’re describing. Perhaps the language was helping? I found they were not politically correct hypocrites that will tell the next person what they think of you the minute you turn your back, they’ll tell you straight to your face and that’s just fine by me once you learn to deal with it. At the same time however, they still have community values that touched me to the point that I would emigrate there tomorrow if I could, and maybe I will, come retirement age. The young are still respectful to the old, the family is sacred, and when someone’s physically hurt they don’t just circle the scene and lurk, they give assistance. They don’t need a sign telling them to look out for damaged sidewalks, wet floors, bumpy roads, nor fences to save them from the precipices. They have learnt to look after themselves and after each other without governments (which they can’t count on anyway) holding their hand every step of the way. They are survivors and they will survive this crisis too. Fellow Greeks, hang strong and proud and you will make it. Love from Canada.

  27. By the way, I am planning to go back to Greece next September. No, not to ”look at the natives (like you would animals at a zoo)” Maria. But to feel the warmth of the people and spend my vacation money where it’s direly needed right now.

  28. they’re not banning the swale of machines are they? just nicotine e-liquid? well greeks can get all of this by mail for decent postage rates anyway… from somewhere like vapology.co.uk .