The number of smokers in Greece has decreased over the last five years, however, the non-implementation of a smoking ban in enclosed public places has irritated the public, which calls it “cultural degradation,” writes European affairs website euractiv.com. The European Commission generally advises Greece to implement the smoking ban which was voted in but never fully implemented.
Contacted by EURACTIV.com for a comment, a European Commission spokesperson said generally, “We urge member states to follow the Council Recommendation on smoke-free environments.”
The Council Recommendation on smoke-free environments (November 2009) called on member states to adopt and implement laws to fully protect their citizens from exposure to tobacco smoke in enclosed public places, workplaces and public transport, within three years of its adoption.
“Enhance smoke-free laws with supporting measures such as protecting children, encouraging efforts to give up tobacco use and pictorial warnings on tobacco packages,” the Recommendation reads.
The World Health Organisation says Greece’s compliance with the smoke-free environments framework is quite poor.
A law adopted in 2008 that prohibited smoking in public places has never been implemented
According to a new survey conducted by ΚΑΠΑ Research and published last week (12 January), the number of smokers in the country has significantly decreased.
Particularly, 27.1% of the population today says it smokes compared to 36.7% recorded by researchers in 2012. This decrease within five years is a record on an EU level, analysts highlighted, adding that this is the smallest prevalence of smoking ever in the Greek population.
In addition, most Greeks said they opposed smoking and 88.1% consider it a national goal to reduce it.
The survey also focused on the issue of passive smoking in enclosed public places, with 83.8% of respondents claiming that the non-compliance with the law is a cultural degradation.
Moreover, 76.1% of Greeks are angry about the fact that the country is one of the few EU countries that allow smoking in enclosed areas, exposing its citizens to passive smoking.
Last but not least, the survey also found that 69.8% of Greeks are willing to participate voluntarily in actions to reduce smoking, especially among young people.
PS Should all Greeks stop smoking the government and the lenders would need to seek ways to replace the lost revenues from the high taxes and fees on cigarettes and other tobacco products