Greece bans indoor smoking with hefty fines

by Alister POOLE on September 3, 2010

Smokers hoping to head to Greece for their next getaway should be warned that smoking indoors could cost them a a hefty fine of up to £8,000 as the country gears up for a heavy crackdown on smoking.

Under the Greece’s new anti-smoking legislation, the government will outlaw smoking in public areas and ban the advertisement of tobacco completely. If caught, smokers could be asked to pay as much as £8,000 in fees or face swift prosecution in a Greek court system.

Prime Minister George Papandreou said that the Greeks must change if they wish to rebuild the nation in the wake of the crippling economic crisis that the country suffered. He added that the new anti-smoking campaign will complement work already being done to improve attitudes, norms and behaviours within the country. According to Papandreou, the Greeks needed to make the country viable, not just in its economy, but in all aspects of life.

However, for those that wish to kick the habit, there are several options for treatment and aid in doing so. Stop smoking hypnotherapy has become largely popular as a means to quitting. Its a decision that has been encouraged by anti-smoking groups like ASH. Martin Dockrell of ASH said that if smokers could deal with rainy London or windy Dublin, then holidaying in Greece, with its sunny and beautiful atmosphere is no problem.

The news has met with criticism from local restaurant owners who say that banning smoking in public enclosed spaces will cause customers to leave the eatery sooner. Nikos Louvros, who owns a bar in Athens, said that he did not understand the move. He added that smokers and non-smokers should simply each have their own area.

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