• July 24, 2024

Failing to enforce bans

 Failing to enforce bans

Greece is failing to enforce its tobacco smoking bans despite apparent public support for the legislation, according to a Kathimerini story quoting the Hellenic Thoracic Society (HTS).

The society yesterday appealed to the government to crack down on violations of the ban.

Speaking at an event ahead of World No Tobacco Day on May 31, the HTS president, Michalis Toumpis, said the number of smokers in Greece seemed to be declining steadily. Eurostat’s most recent study had put regular tobacco users at 27.3 percent.

Despite this decline, however, seven in 10 Greeks had told the EU’s statistics agency that they had been regularly exposed to other people’s tobacco smoke when visiting bars, restaurants and cafes – where smoking was supposed to be prohibited.

“That 74 percent of non-smokers are angry about the situation, which means that the population is ready to accept the enforcement of the measures,” said Toumpis.

Toumpis hailed the fact that 75 percent of the retail price of Greek-market tobacco products went toward taxes. Quite a few people came to smoking cessation clinics because they couldn’t afford to keep up the habit.

Greece has about 50 such clinics, which have provided treatment and support to more than 300,000 smokers since they first opened in 2000.

Greece was one of the first nations to sign up for the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, which entered into force in 2005.