In Greece, smoking is a actuality regardless of prohibitions – The Jakarta Submit – Jakarta Submit

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When George Balafoutis returned from New York two years in the past, he was shocked to see the little influence that just about a decade of anti-smoking legal guidelines had had on the removing of Greece's favourite responsible pleasure. .

It was at the moment that Balafoutis, now 38, determined to create a web site devoted to the knowledge of non-smokers to allow them to take pleasure in a meal with out espresso and never be impressed by the cigarette smoke of different clients.

"After many medical research on the dangerous results of passive smoking, it’s unacceptable for people who smoke to proceed to disregard the well being of pregnant girls and youngsters," he informed AFP.

The Balafoutis web site,, at present lists greater than 400 smoke-free institutions, but it surely acknowledges that the motion has not but taken off.

"Restaurant and membership homeowners are afraid of shedding smoking clients and politicians are afraid of shedding votes," stated the cybersecurity architect who returned to work in Greece as a result of his nation, his household and his associates have been lacking.

And with Greece transferring in the direction of the native elections on Might 26, it’s unlikely that officers insist, he conceded.

In 2009, Greece banned smoking in indoor public locations, imposed stiff fines and created a direct line of grievance.

Nonetheless, in observe, the regulation continues to be not often enforced.

& # 39; Ought to have the selection & # 39;

Nikos Louvros, proprietor of a bar in Athens and advocate for the rights of people who smoke, proudly supplies ashtrays on the tables of his Booze Cooperativa room, the place company can flourish comfortable.

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"It is sensible to not smoke within the hospital, however once you're having enjoyable, you need to have the selection to go to a spot the place you possibly can smoke," he stated.

Louvros even based a political get together for people who smoke following the authorized repression of 2009, a lot he had at coronary heart the correct of individuals to smoke.

In keeping with a Eurobarometer survey of 2017, in Greece, 72% of accredited institutions are smoking eating places, the best determine within the European Union.

37% of Greeks smoke, in contrast with a median of 26% within the EU.

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& # 39; I’ll cease once I select & # 39;

Earlier this yr, the problem sparked a row when European Well being Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis reacted disdainfully to a photograph taken in 2016 of Greek Well being Minister Pavlos Polakis, smoking within the ministry.

"It's shameful, this man is aware of nothing about well being," Andriukaitis informed the Greek day by day Kathimerini.

Polakis, a veteran surgeon, replied scornfully on Fb: "I'll cease once I select … okay" dude "???".

Anti-smoking legal guidelines in Greece date again to the mid-19th century. A royal decree of 1856 issued by the nation's first king after independence, King Otto of Bavaria, prohibited the usage of pipes and cigarettes in public locations and outlets.

The anti-smoking regulation of 2009 supplies for a positive of 50 to 500 euros (56 to 560 ) for a person and 500 to 1000 euros for the institution the place the offense was dedicated.

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"In the long run, we’ll be part of the ranks of civilized nations … what are we, the idiots of Europe?" The Minister of Well being, Dimitris Avramopoulos, in the present day European Commissioner for Migration, stated that on the time of the hardening of the regulation.

Few individuals, nonetheless, are reported to the police.

A yr later, when the financial disaster hit Greece, few of them may complain that their livelihoods trusted the satisfaction of a paying majority of smoker customers.

Even in the present day, "most owners want to threat it and ignore the regulation," says Yiorgos Kavvathas, head of the GSEVEE Small Enterprise Confederation.

Disregard the regulation

Initiatives of native councils to combat towards smoking stay uncommon and immediate the mayor of Thessaloniki, the second largest metropolis in Greece, Yannis Boutaris – one other chain smoker – to protest in March: "We’re the one nation on the planet the place legal guidelines usually are not revered. " revered as a result of that's what we really feel. "

Authorities have been extra profitable in eradicating tobacco merchandise from public view.

Ads have been blacklisted since 2005, a ban confirmed final week by Greece's highest administrative court docket.

However Kavvathas argued that there ought to be extra public messages concerning the dangerous results of tobacco, together with college campaigns.

In the meantime, people who smoke like Maria Triantafyllou, 36, usually are not discouraged.

"Once I exit with associates in a restaurant or bar, I spend a couple of hours there and for me, it's time to smoke.

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"It's a behavior that I’d discover troublesome to desert if the anti-smoking regulation was actually revered," she stated.




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