Reports claim the number of smokers in Greece has dropped over the last five years, however, the non-implementation of a smoking ban in enclosed public places has left a lot of the public outraged.
The European Commission spokesperson told Euroactive.com “We urge member states to follow the Council Recommendation on smoke-free environments.”
In 2009, a council recommendation on smoke-free environments called on member states to 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.
However, the World Health Organisation says Greece’s compliance with the smoke-free environments framework is quite poor and a law adopted in 2008 that prohibited smoking in public places has never been implemented.
According to a new survey, which was released last week and conducted by ΚΑΠΑ Research, the number of smokers across Greece has decreased.
The report reveals 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.
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.
A large number of bars, clubs, cafe and restaurant owners are not abiding by the law. According to the legislation, in clubs or bars of over 300 square metres, the smoking area can be 40% of the total area of the premises. The separation from the rest of the establishment must be carried by partitions at least two metres.
However, most owners have not taken such measures and the Greek authorities are not following it up.