Monday, May 12, 2008

Smoking: Greece is #1

The Economist

47 Comments:

At 5/31/2008 8:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Despite propaganda to the contrary, the Greek government does *nothing* effective to discourage smoking or implement effective public health promotion in this area.

This a weak, foolish country where no-one gives a hoot about the enormous costs to the health system, let alone the misery and death caused by long-term, slow killers like bronchitis, emphysema and heart disease.

Neither do they care about the increasingly negative reaction from non-smoking or asthmatic tourists, who will go elsewhere.

Greece actually *reduced* the price of cigarettes a few years back to counter losing sales to black market imports. That's how much they don't care about their health, or that of their children who choke and suffer long term debility because of the ignorance, greed and apathy in this backward country, supposedly part of the EU.

 
At 5/31/2008 8:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And as for the supposed ban in restaurants etc planned for 2010: well, the Greek parliament hasn't voted on it yet. Even if passed, previous laws have been completely ignored, no enforcement whatsoever.

Greeks don't understand why they should not smoke and passive smoking is not even a concept here. Staff smoke in banks, supermarkets and HOSPITALS on Crete. People smoke cigars over babies; doctors smoke and put ashtrays in their waiting rooms, like it's the 1950s. Actually, it *is* the 1950s in Greece.

There has been no leadership from government or, worse, the medical profession, another pathetic institution in Greece who apparently do not care to assume a role in public health. Countries like Cambodia have more effective public health campaigns than Greece.


Lately there has been an obscure advertisement on Greek TV that is, apparently, an antismoking commercial, though it takes 5 viewings to work that out. Cigarettes neither appear nor are mentioned, no facts are given: people stand around blowing party whistles! WTF??? This type of subtlety will not work on a largely ignorant, poorly educated population who need to understand the gravity of this misery inducing habit.


Consider Australia's absolutely terrifying "Grim Reaper" campaign of the 1980s, or the hilarious ads to de-sexualize smoking (romantic music, boy leans over to kiss girl, girl's mouth is full of cigarette butts. VO: "Like kissing an ashtray.") That country was at this stage 30 years ago.

 
At 5/31/2008 9:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some links:

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B73H6-4MV19YG-4&_user=10&_rdoc=1&_fmt=&_orig=search&_sort=d&view=c&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=2170719dc4462d259610c8f332eeffc3

I have about as much respect for a doctor that smokes as I would for a cop that robs banks.

And look at this nonsense here. Look familiar, right down to "protecting the tobacco farmers"? It might even be the same "hard hotting" release they're using for the new planned law. That was in 2002. And *nothing* has changed, actually smoking has increased.

http://www.no-smoking.org/sept02/09-30-02-1.html

Just how does the Greek "government" (I use the term loosely) plan to enforce THIS new ban? They didn't enforce the last one.

And: proof that pre-schoolers are exposed to passive smoke:

http://www.springerlink.com/content/90252307g0nh2427/

 
At 9/12/2008 8:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some African countries are now way ahead of Greece in smoking prevention.

Niger and Kenya have now banned smoking in public places, punishable by heavy fines and prison terms. Restaurants and businesses flouting the bans risk losing their licenses.

 
At 10/07/2008 12:31 PM, Blogger Sanja said...

I can't believe that Greece, which has been in the EU for almost 30 years and is supposed to be a developed country, still allows smoking everywhere and lets kids buy cigarettes. Imagine this: You go to a bank or a post office, and the person behind the counter smokes. The same happens in hospital receptions, supermarkets, buses... You can't see something like that even here in Bosnia, not to mention some more developed countries. Even though my country is also high on the list of smoking population, I can't even imagine seeing a worker in a bank smoke behind the counter... LOL, I have never seen something like that. (The same goes for other such places - post offices etc.) And can you believe that kind of thing still happens in Greece on a regular basis?

 
At 10/13/2008 10:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I do not smoke but I have absolutely no problem with other ssmoking outside or on open air balconies.

There is FAR too much intollerance and fascistic goody-two-shoes rhetoric pouring out of condemnatory gobholes!

For heavens sake stop being so bossy and over-the-top.

My partner never smokes near me and when we go to greece he only smokes outside.

Life is full of potential danger and hazards - but why oh why must some people go on like parrots with verbal squits?

Live and let live and please STOP slagging off the wonderful and glorious Greek nation!

You may not smoke but you probably do something equally as hazardous or disgusting!

 
At 10/24/2008 4:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

People should be able to smoke whereever they want. It should be up to the owner to choose whether smoking should be allowed or not.

GO GREECE!!!


(i dont smoke, but i like the smell of cigarettes more than the disgusting smell of sweat).

NO TO SMOKING BANS!

 
At 11/04/2008 6:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Smoking is not a matter of smell, lifestyle, status or affluence. smoking is a matter of life and death and the greek governments so far have aimed to kill their citizens by being so tolerant on smoking in public places and by the absence of any campaign to ban smoking. Being a member of the EU comes with obligations and the Greek governments should have paid the price years ago. Now they will and implementation of the measures will be necessary.

 
At 11/17/2008 2:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No, people do not smoke everywhere in Greece. And they have accepted not to smoke in the metro, in public buildings. They do smoke in restaurants, bar, clubs, in the street, the university, bus stops and designated areas in airports.
Smoking is not good. Being judgemental on other people bad habits, is not good either.
Do you think smoking of greeks is disgusting? Show to the greeks the obesity of the americans or even worse, their eating habits. You'll see some disgusted faces there.
Greasy food like american hamburgers can also cause coronary heart disease, right? Then why americans do not quit? Is it because regarding their dietary habits they live in the 1930's?

 
At 11/18/2008 11:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To this guy who said that American eating habits are as bad as Greeks' smoking: For your information, your eating habits don't affect the people around you, and smoking does. If you want to kill yourself, you can eat whatever you want, but people around you won't suffer, only you will. On the other hand, if you smoke in public places, that affects everyone around you. So I think it should be forbidden in all public places. If you want to smoke, go ahead, but do it while you're alone, not around other people.

 
At 11/19/2008 7:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Like I said, smoking is already forbidden in public places like the metro, airports, train stations, public buildings, so the problem is putting greeks to quit smoking in cafes, restaurants and clubs. And it's like that since the Olympic Games 2004.
That angry anonymous is obviously greek (the passionate style says it all). I understand the frustration. Consider the fact that we allow alcohol to be bought and consumed by minors of any age, practically, an 8 year old can buy beer from the off license of the neighbourhood, and yet we have the lowest percentage of alcoholism in Europe. Despite the high consumption, education IS working in some cases.
Not to mention that we behave much better in our drinking habits than any other european country. No one behaves like a german or an english or an american when drunk, we are quite cool, fighting is not usual. Alcoholism is not a problem here.
So yes, smoking is a problem here in Greece, but not because of the education, but because of the greek lifestyle, and anyone who has lived in Greece knows that. Besides, in Greece no one expects education from our corrupt governments, families generally do it themselves.

Your eating habits DO affect the public. Check out all those obese american children. Who did they pick up from these eating habits? Obviously their parents, it is not pure luck that, most of the cases I've seen their parents are also obese. It's equally bad to a smoker parent, because they educate their kids how to be fat, just like a smoker parent educates a kid how to become a smoker in the future.
And peers. What to you say to an obese teenager when asked if he/she can join classmates for a burger at the mall? How about eating in school where children are unsupervised? Do they teach each other to prefer cooked rather than processed food? Unless you consider cheesy strings to be healthy food, you have to recognise that eating, just like smoking, IS a social thing.

It is not a matter of whether we live in the 50's or 2008, this is the greek lifestyle, going out, drinking a lot of coffee/wine and smoking. Keep in mind we are 7nth in the global cultivation of tobacco, a lot of people live from it, and i'ts cultivated in this country since 1500. It is equal to say to americans not to eat their national dish, that is, hamburgers. It is easy to say, difficult to do.

 
At 2/09/2009 7:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"No, people do not smoke everywhere in Greece"

Have you been to the islands? The only place Greeks do not smoke is in indoor cinemas. Even then, smoking is not banned in the lobby so you have to suffocate getting though thick clouds of smoke to get in or out of the theater. All the existing bans (taxis etc) are mainly ignored.

Passive smoking is as bad health-wise as smoking oneself. Air is a shraed resource, we all have to breathe. if you are smoking next to me, I have to breathe your poison.

NO-ONE HAS THE RIGHT TO POLLUTE MY AIR. There is no "right" to smoke and poison other people's air, other than in your own private space.

Nothing singles out Greece more as a backward nation than its inability to educate its population about the dangers of smoking - which is the number one public health problem globally according to W.H.O.

 
At 2/09/2009 7:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"That is the Greek lifestyle"

I've heard this cowardly excuse for not accepting change before. Or: "that's our our culture". Baloney, and what a lame cop out.

Cultures change, lifestyles change all the time. When this involves improving everybody's health it's called *progress*. PROGRESS. Greece could do with more public health progress and less disingenuous crap about "lifestyle".

SMOKING KILLS. Not just the smoker, but those around him or her. Are you aware of the demonstrated effects on children of passive smoking? Have you sat in an internet cafe FULL of cigarette smoke when Greek children come in after school to play computer games?

And the alleged comparison with poor diet is completely illogical.

 
At 2/10/2009 1:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Quote: "Like I said, smoking is already forbidden in public places like the metro, airports, train stations, public buildings, so the problem is putting greeks to quit smoking in cafes, restaurants and clubs."

Don't make me laugh. Maybe it is forbidden officially, but no one respects that. How many times have you entered a public building and seen workers smoke? How many times have you seen a bus driver smoke behind the wheel? How many times have you entered a public library or bank only to see a "No smoking" sign and persons behind the counter puffing their heads off?

 
At 2/10/2009 2:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I understand that smoking is a traditional and cultural thing in Greece, but there must be some decency, you can't smoke wherever you feel like it. Some places have to be spared from the smoke. I don't support total ban, I guess it could be allowed in some cafes, bars, night clubs etc., but minors shouldn't be allowed to go there. You decide if you want to visit those places and expose yourself to the smoke, or not. However, I do think it should be banned in restaurants, or at least there should be separate rooms for smokers and non-smokers. Other public places should be totally smoke-free. Do you have any idea how inappropriate it is to smoke at work while you're serving customers? In my opinion, it shows disrespect to those customers, not to mention that it exposes them to the smoke. Going to a serious institution and seeing it filled with smoke, like it's some kinda bar, makes me sick.

 
At 2/11/2009 11:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous said: "It is not a matter of whether we live in the 50's or 2008, this is the greek lifestyle. (...) It is equal to say to americans not to eat their national dish, that is, hamburgers. It is easy to say, difficult to do."

What a stupid thing to say. What kind of comparison is that? So you're saying that nowadays, when the whole world recognises smoking as the no. 1 health danger, Greeks should keep their tradition and cherish smoking like they would cherish some national dish or something? Complete nonsense.

Bad eating habits are also a social problem, you have a point; but they can't be compared to smoking. And there is no such thing as the right to smoke in public places. Look at it this way: I have the right to breathe clean air. Your right to smoke stops where my right to breathe begins.

 
At 2/17/2009 11:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

All the neighbouring countries are now way ahead of Greece when it comes to smoking bans. Greece is the only country where you can still see people smoke everywhere.

 
At 3/13/2009 9:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

you shouldn't criticize that much sir !
it's not proper !

 
At 3/16/2009 2:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually obesity (ie caused by your fatty American hamburgers and french fries) causes more cancer cases then smoking. It is very and hip and easy to attack cigarettes, especially when your fat American fingers can only type a few words. Grow up and realize free choice is superior, while the fact that your preserved, cooked in grease, nutrient deprived diet is making you brain dead.

 
At 3/16/2009 2:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually obesity (ie caused by your fatty American hamburgers and french fries) causes more cancer cases then smoking. It is very and hip and easy to attack cigarettes, especially when your fat American fingers can only type a few words. Grow up and realize free choice is superior, while the fact that your preserved, cooked in grease, nutrient deprived diet is making you brain dead.

 
At 3/22/2009 10:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Like I said, you have the right to poison yourself, but not others. Greeks smoke in the most inappropriate places and have no regards whatsoever. While other countries are banning smoking in cafes, bars and restaurants, Greeks can't even ban it in places like banks and hospitals. Don't they understand how unprofessional it is, not to mention that no one has the right to expose customers or patients to the smoke in those places? Those are serious institutions, not some bars or something, for God's sake. Honestly, I'm surprised no one took the effort to do something about it before. Even Turkey banned smoking in public places.

 
At 3/24/2009 10:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Exactly. Sadly, Greeks are largely ignorant about the very serious dangers that their smoking represents to others nearby. "Passive smoking" seems to be an unknown concept here. I am all for Greeks killing and maiming themselves with smoking, however:

Try saying the following to your average Greek smoker:

"Do you know that you can have to your legs amputated because of heavy smoking?" (It happens).

"Do you know that smoking can cause impotence (absolutely true - smoking damages the blood vessels throughout the body, including those that supply the penis), or:

"Do you know that smoking around your child greatly increases his or her chance of getting fatally ill and dying now or years in the future?"

"Do you know that almost all those who get emphysema now smoke or used to smoke and that it takes 10 years to die from emphysema, which, like many smoking -related diseases, is a slow and awful death?"

There is really no excuse for the shocking state of ignorance and apathy in Greece over the number one public health issue globally.

It is time people started suing the government and employers in Greece for doing nothing to prevent the secondary smoking that caused their illnesses.

I only hope the ban (now begins 1st July 2009) will actually get enforced, but remember this is a country that cannot enforce many of the simplest laws associated with people's behavior - and the vast majority of police smoke as heavily as everyone else.

 
At 4/01/2009 3:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A new survey confirms again that Greece has the highest smoking prevalence in Europe (as if we didn't know):

http://www.redorbit.com/news/health/1662771/survey_finds_greece_has_eus_highest_smoking_rates/index.html

 
At 4/01/2009 3:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

More recent evidence of just how backward smoking attitudes are in Greece, this time with 90% of hospital workers (includes doctors) supporting only a partial ban on smoking in Greek hospitals! (Like designating one part of the swimming pool to urinate in!). God help you if you are admitted to a Greek hospital with a lung condition, if the health workers are this ignorant about smoking. PARTIAL SMOKING BANS NEVER WORK!

http://www.tobaccoinduceddiseases.com/content/5/1/8

 
At 4/30/2009 10:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Greece is doing this only because the EU requires it. I bet the ban will be ignored, like so many times before. It's silly anyway - cafes, restaurants and private offices can still have areas for smokers. Knowing Greeks, they will keep smoking, and not only in designated areas. Come on, even Turkey has a stricter ban than this. Even Albania banned smoking in restaurants years ago.

 
At 5/01/2009 1:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's the point of this post? Smoking is widespread in Greece, no doubt, but nonsense, people don't smoke in public libraries for the simple reason that there are no public libraries.
But I am trying hard to understand what all this boils down to. Proof that Greece is backward or what?

 
At 5/03/2009 9:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is not some kinda crusade against Greece. No one is trying to prove that Greece is backwards or anything like that, even though it obviously is backwards when it comes to this particular thing. It's just hard to believe that Greece, a civilised country, a EU member, place that attracts so many foreign tourists, can be so ignorant and careless when it comes to smoking in public places. It's not only behind the rest of Europe, but it's also behind its neighbours. It's hard for me to comprehend how it is possible that Greeks don't understand that they have NO RIGHT to smoke in customers' face while serving them. Smoking in some places is just inappropriate.

Oh, and I suppose the "public library" meant the one that can be used by ordinary people... Like, the place where you go to borrow a book?

 
At 5/16/2009 1:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Public health promotion is, in my opinion, the most telling indicator of how developed a country is. This is because - in order to create good public health measures - you need (a) an effective government (b) strong institutions (c) financial resources (d) good training and education, and (e) a functioning health system. And, as they say, without health you have nothing. Furthermore: since smoking prevention is now the no.1 public health issue throughout the world, any country that shows it is unable to do anything about this certainly cannot "do" public health, especially when so-called third wordl countries are having some degree of success with this. So, frankly, Greece should be embarrassed if it cannot implement this ban, since in that case it will be very plain that it is unable to implement something that much poorer countries have been able to.

 
At 5/23/2009 8:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I visited a Greek island and people were smoking even in shops! For God's sake, Greece is a tourist country and most of their income comes from tourism. Do they have any idea how many tourists they scare away with all that smoking?

 
At 6/12/2009 8:32 AM, Blogger papy said...

As of the 1st of July 2009 smoking will be banned in almost all public areas.

I smoke and agree with it,quite a few of my friends do too, but the majority just laugh and say the authorities won't be strict enough and already there are small loop holes to get around the ban,in smaller bars.

One day Greeks will wake up,but not in my time,and i've lived here for over twenty years.

 
At 6/30/2009 4:14 AM, Anonymous Constantine The Great said...

Just chill and let us live OUR country the way we want. Dont like second hand smoke? Visit another country.

You have your way. We have our way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist...

 
At 6/30/2009 6:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is because there is NO FREEDOM like there is in Greece. At least in Greece, the government is not monitoring your phone calls like they're doing in the US.

Weak and foolish country? Motherfuc@er! We invented everything!Each time you write or say something, remember WE GAVE you LANGUAGE!

 
At 7/02/2009 1:49 PM, Blogger CrusaderGR said...

This is the 2nd day after the ban of smoking in Greece.

Personally speaking, I dont smoke and I want my country to be free of smoke.

But I really cannot understand the critism for many people.
- weak, foolish country ?
- smoke in front of our babies
- we are leaving in 50's
- poorly educated
and many many other nice words.

Thanks dudes for your nice words.

However the truth is little bit different.

Yes, unfortunately we have fanatic smokers here, but the fact that everywhere you can find smokers isnt correct (for example means of transport).

Weak and foolish country??? hmmmm, it depends of the smoke my friend??? At least the Greeks dont kill innocent people in imperialistc wars and later the people vote these governments again for new administration. This isnt foolish and weak my frient ???

Smoking in front of babies? The Greeks has so strong relations with their families, you cannot believe that. The Greeks do eveything for their babies, children and their family. It is very difficult to see homeless people here, due to the strong connections with the families.
So ..... yes we live in 50's, we dont hit, torture and rape our children and many other things from your 00's free smoke countries.

poorly educated ??? you believe that the people dont know about the smoke ??? It is the same like the junk food consumption. I believe every American knows about the consequences but it is your favourite food.

 
At 7/05/2009 11:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No freedom like in Greece? Having people smoke in your face EVERYWHERE, even at the doctor's office... you call that freedom? Wrong... That's just idiotism, rudeness and primitiveness. What about my freedom, when I don't want to tolerate second-hand smoke or to get a disease due to the passive smoking?

 
At 7/19/2009 12:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Turkey - the country many Greeks would most hate to admit is ahead of Greece in any way - has just extended its smoking bans to ALL bars:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/8157747.stm

Post-1st July 2009, despite the apparent success of the Greek ban in some shops and public buildings, I still can't find a non-smoking bar or cafe, since 99% of these seem to be under 70 square meters. If they were supposed to get some special license they are not bothering.
My other complaint would be the lack of signs. Under the new law, aren't there supposed to be signs up to show where the non-smoking places and areas are? I can see very few of those here on Crete.
Also: people are stretching the 70 sq m exemption beyond logical bounds. For example: KTEL bus stations often contain a cafe, but they are still bus stations ie public places. If these are under 70 sq m, or are partitioned off to be under 70 sq m (air and smoke freely passing around the partitions),I have noticed KTEL are allowing smoking there! This NEEDS TO BE PROSECUTED.

 
At 8/12/2009 4:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, the majority of Greeks are uneducated and there are no warnings on tv against smoking. But you have to understand that the Greeks operate on their own ideas of personal Freedom. They don't do it to be rude. They just do not care about you're right to clean air as long as they smoke as they please. The response is always (not just for smoking but noise pollution etc.)if you don't like it move or leave.
Things change very slowly here and if this ban ever works most of us will not be alive to see it.
putting down the Americans for being over weight does not make Greece look any better. Greece doesn't like change. It will kick and scream and fight against it.
I am not American and I am not Greek but i have lived here for 33 years. I still can not understand the way they think or their lack of regard for their fellow man. oh, yeah... they love their children but they will smoke over their crib and have a lighted cigarette in an ashtray as they feed their child.
I believe that they don't seriously consider the harm second hand smoke does.
I believe in your right to smoke but i have a right to clean air.

 
At 8/17/2009 11:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Turkish ban is serious, unlike this joke they have in Greece. Turks did it because it was the right thing to do, not because someone forced them (i.e. the EU). Erdogan said the society should fight against smoking as hard as they fight against terrorism. By the way, you couldn't smoke on Turkish airports even 10 years ago, unlike Greece where they smoked right in the terminals until last month. And even after July 1st, it's almost impossible to find a non-smoking bar, cafe or restaurant in Greece. This ban will NOT work until the Greek society changes its attitude towards smoking, and I don't see that happening any time soon.

 
At 8/24/2009 5:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember when it was perfectly fine to smoke in restaurants, you just had smoking and non-smoking sides. That's enough for me. Those who don't want to be exposed to smoke aren't and those who don't care get to have their cigarettes. I may be the exception more than the rule, but my mom smoked while pregnant and through my childhood and I never took up smoking or had health problems. Of course, half the crap that are in cigarettes now weren't when I was a kid. The smokers and non-smokers should be separated, but I don't really see a problem with letting them smoke.

 
At 9/30/2009 11:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the person (clearly Greek) who commented on the obesity of Americans...

Greeks are fatter than Americans. Check the statistics.

The Greek diet is incredibly high in fat. Even vegetables are swimming in oil.

Educating the average person on why this is bad will be an uphill struggle:

A friend's husband just had bypass surgery and the instructions on what to eat (given by the hospital) said that he can eat food cooked with oil.

That's insane advice given the amount of oil used in most recipes.

I tried to tell them that heart disease patients need to be on a LOW-fat diet but of course they will listen to the hospital.

I've lived in Greece for years and dealing with this kind of ignorance on a day to day basis can really wear you down.

 
At 11/13/2009 8:33 PM, Blogger igiannakopoulos said...

parking on a pavement is also illegal but all the greeks do it.why should they care about this law?they are no citizents they only think about themselves.

 
At 12/01/2009 1:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just started a job in athens. EVERYONE in my office smokes. I have told them i have asthma and they say: OK and continue blowing smoke in my face. I call that inconsiderate, rude and darn right selfish. Anywhere else in Europe, people would be held to accountability. Here, its you (the complainer) that gets treated like a freak for not going with the flow. Screw the flow and screw bad habits.

 
At 12/18/2009 5:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I took my kid to the new Ben & Jerry'sGolden Hall shopping Mall in an Athens suburb. And guess what - everyone was smoking. I asked the person in charge why the smoking ban was not being followed and she told me that Ben & Jerry's followed a "loophole" allowing establishemnts with a small sitting space to op as "smoking establishments". This loohole does exist, but it is for bars and certainly not for ice-cream cafes frequented by children!

I find it disgraceful that this Ameican-owned establishment in Greece opted to allow smoking, particularly given the fact that B&J nas prestemtions of being "socially conscious". It is also quite ironic, given that all adjacent Greek-owbed restaurants and cafes are smoke free. Go figure.

 
At 12/27/2009 1:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Smoking in the Athens Ben and Jerry's - LOL! I thought the law was supposed to strictly prevent smoking in places with kids! What a joke. You should write and call Ben and Jerry's head office in the US or Europe and copy your letter to the international media.

I love these feeble arguments about Greeks being able to smoke cigars over their babies because they have such a great family life etc and it being "ok" for Greeks to smoke wherever they feel like it because it's their "idea of freedom" and not because they're selfish - LOL! True, it would not at all be fair to say it's just Greek smokers who are like this, the same is true of UK expat smokers in Greece - they don't care either.

THAT IS WHY COUNTRIES HAVE PASSED LAWS TO PROTECT NON-SMOKERS AND CHILDREN - because smokers only care about their addiction. And because of the enormous loss of life and health costs. That is why Greece must be pressured into passing and enforcing a genuine smoking ban law.

After the 1st July 2009, a lot of people stopped smoking in many shops etc because they feared the fines and weren't sure what was going to happen. When nothing happened ie no-one came around to check if the ban was being enforced, they all started smoking again. The government, through an absence of enforcement, lost a golden opportunity here - many people were prepared to go along with the ban. But the idiots did nothing, no fines, no spot checks. Nothing. This law was never intended to be enforced, just more cynical phony laws from the weakest country in Europe, you know, the one with the Eur300 billion debt.

 
At 12/28/2009 7:53 AM, Blogger Demetrio said...

Welcome to Greece.
An estimated 5-6,000 Greeks die from lung cancer every year, more than in any other European country.
600.000 to 1.000.000 greeks (10% of the population) have the Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease or the smokers disease.

 
At 12/30/2009 12:25 PM, Blogger Sanja said...

It's really hard for me to believe that Greeks smoke for example in shops. Here in Bosnia we still don't have a smoking ban, but no one will smoke in a shop, everyone will go out. It has always been that way. If nothing else, they will do it because of the customers.

 
At 2/12/2010 1:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Guys I am a 15 year old boy from Greece.
You are all right. Even if I do not smoke, i am used to breathing the smoke from other people's cigarettes, and i am really used to it. just LIKE i WAS SMOKING!!!
About 60% of the children in my school smoke, inside the school area, even though it is prohibited.
I am so used to all this smoking condition, that i really cannot understand why it seems so strange and shocking to you!!!!! But unfortunately you are all right....

 
At 3/24/2010 9:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

we smoke and we like it.
what kind of comparison could be ok with you?
if you think that the comparison of greek smoking and american food habits is stupid then think about this: the american wars and greek smoking.. does it seem better now?

 

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