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Smoking ban leads to dramatic decline of turnover in Thessaloniki

The smoking ban has resulted into dramatic decline of turnover decline in cafes, bars and restaurants in Thessaloniki, northern Greece, a recent survey has shown. The decline reaches up to 63.2% say local businessmen from the sector.

The survey was conducted among 205 owners of restaurants, cafes, bars and other entertainment facilities as well as among 405 persons /customers over 17 years old. The survey was conducted per telephone in January 2020.

60.2% of the business owners said the number of customers declined since the smoking ban enforcement beginning of the winter.

However, at the same time, the majority of the owners of the above businesses responded said that they agree / rather agree with the implementation of the anti-smoking law. 30.3% of respondents said that they disagree/rather disagree while 8.5% said they do not know/do not answer.

The business owners estimated that 86.2% of their customers are smokers and only 13.8% are not.

For their part, the majority of 405 customers responded to the question: “In your opinion, it is better for the smoking law to remain as it is or to provide for smokers under certain conditions (special place, ventilation, etc.)” that “there should be a provision for smokers” (68%).

50.3% of the customers still believe that the law will not be relaxed by the time, while  41.2% believe the opposite.

32.3% of the respondents said that they have quit smoking because of the law. 67.7% say that they continue smoking.

The restaurant and grill sector in Thessaloniki warned beginning of January that 3,000-4,000 businesses would close this winter and some 50,000 jobs would be lost.

Some business tried to bypass the smoking ban by creating “smokers’ clubs.” They did not go far with their plans as the government made them clear that this is not going to happen.

PS I wouldn’t believe it but I heard friends saying recently that they prefer to stay at home than going for coffee or dine out on rainy and cold days and then having to go in the cold several times for a smoke.

“Thank God, we have long periods, several months of fair weather, I can wait and nice sit and smoke outside,” one of them said.”

Recently, two friends and I spent about half an hour driving around our broader neighborhood for a cafe where we could sit outside and smoke without being exposed to cold wind. The two vehemently rejected my proposal to sit somewhere inside, drink our coffee in a warm environment and go out for one, two or three smokes.

Finally we spotted a cafe with heaters outside and some kind of cozy wind protection. “that’s illegal,” I said and both friends told me in one voice to “shut the f*** up!”

I did.

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One comment

  1. the smoking ban in the UK was met with all the same concerns as the ones in this article. Now everyone accepts it. The problem is this. As a non smoker I am forced to take in other peoples smoke. This is not fair. Otherwise as a beer drinker I could piss on your head.