Finally Enforced, Greece’s No Smoking Law Shows Compliance
November 28, 2019 / By TNH Staff
ATHENS – Ten years after a No Smoking in public places ban was passed – and promptly ignored for the next decade with no government willing to force people to put out tobacco products – a crackdown is showing widespread compliance, but not all.
Data from the country’s National Transparency authority said some 84 percent of 603 establishments checked from Oct. 25-Nov. 25 brought only 11 violations of smoking by people in places where it is prohibited.
Smokers were fined a total of 1,100 euros ($1,210.49) while 34 business owners were cited and fined a total of 38,500 euros ($42,367.32) said Kathimerini in a report on the government getting tough despite some obstinate defiance.
The 1141 hotline set up to take complaints anonymously and to avoid confrontations in bars, restaurants, taverns and other public places has been busy, getting 2,575 calls in its first week in operations. The 1142 telephone hotline for citizens to get information about the ban and report violations has received more than 2,500 calls since its activation last week, the ministry said, about 367 daily.
Those weren’t all to report violators, a total of 796, while 828 were requests for information about the ban and 260 were requests for help to quit smoking.
According to the ministry, around 20,000 people die every year in Greece from smoking-related illnesses at a cost of some 1 billion euros ($1.1 billion) in health care.