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Smoking ban in Greece - will it ever happen?

I live on a Greek island and have a 3 month old baby. I can't take her anywhere because in every cafe, resturant and shop people smoke. People smoke in the bank, the IKA offices, at cafes with a childrens play area, even the paediatrician smokes in his office. I was a smoker before I was pregnant, but had the common sense to stop and I would never smoke near children or babies.

I won't go to weddings or any other social occasions with my baby as I know we will have to endure tens of people smoking around us. Why is Greece so far behind the rest of Europe when it comes to things like this?

Will there ever be a ban on smoking in public places in Greece? Does anyone have any info


The local politicians all smoke, they all seem to still think smoking is big and clever here.

Update 2:

Asimenia - I agree the biggest annoyance is smoking in the children's play areas, they have just opened a lovely new cafe with a huge play area inside (like a Charlie Chalk thing) but people are allowed to smoke. My worst experience so far was having smoke deliberatley blown in my face when I asked someone to stop smoking in a shop (this shop DID have no smoking signes up), I was 8 months pregnant.

Update 3:

Hilmar, I have indeed heard said expression, I will start smoking tomorrow as I have no mind of my own.........

Have you heard of passive smoking? I smoked for 21 years, and would never smoke near a pregnant woman, child or baby OR anyone who didn't like smoking. Unfortunately there are still so many selfish smokers who think its OK to put other people, even babies, at risk from serious illness, this attitude disgusts me.

Update 4:

Yanto, I'm from South Wales originally and was still a smoker last time I visited, we had no problem going outside to smoke, we did get some nasty looks from people though, smoking is almost taboo in the UK now!!

Update 5:

Fullofwonder, there may be something in Force in mainland but there is no ban where I live, in fact there are not really any laws at all! You can do pretty much anything here as long as you know someone in the local police, corruption is rife.

Update 6:

gilljansen, staying away from places where people smoke would mean staying in my house all day!! The peple who work in government offices need to set a precendent and STOP smoking in the workplace!

Update 7:

Living in Greece and holidaying in Greece are two totally different ball games.

Update 8:

Kelly my husband is Greek and he still smokes depsite me holding up our baby girl infront of him and telling him to give up for her!! he has to go outside to smoke and it's absolutely freezing here at the moment!! I make him brush his teeth and wash his hands constantly as he stinks. A friend of ours who is a smoker came to visit the other day and put his yellow fingers all over my baby's face and mouth, I just wish people would have more common sense!! Children need to be educated in schools about the ills of smoking, but as most of their fathers smoke, they all think it's dead cool, it's so, so sad.

18 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favourite answer

    Unfortunately you are right.

    Noncompliance with laws in the part of Greeks and also inability of the Greek forces to enforce the nonsmoking law, cause all this unpleasant situation with smoking everywhere in Greece.

    Greeks have been known to smoke.... a lot. Since there is a strong ban in USA and other European countries against smoking (due to the well known and widespread correlation of smoking and lung cancer and other severe lung diseases) the tobacco companies have turned their campaign to countries where enforcement is minimal or nonexistent.

    So the tobacco companies push their products in Greece where Greeks are still having the image of "oi ksipnoi kapnizoun Marlboro" "ela ston topo tis kseniasias me ena camel" etc ( meaning the ads are really working for them, they think they are in when they puff away).

    Nobody talks about the 60 yo with lung or emphysema on those ads, they all push the image of the care free healthy rider with a Marlboro. (I bet they don't even know the guy in the ad died of lung cancer).

    Anyway, the point here is that the tobacco comps are getting richer and Greeks die of severe and incurable diseases early on without any attempt by anyone in power to put a stop to it.

    Maybe it is time NOW for the politicians to do something about it?

    For the sake of the next generation we all ought to do something

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  • 1 decade ago

    There has been a ban on smoking here in Spain since the beginning of last year, however although they police were very good at enforcing it in the early months, their enthusiasm has now waned, you can walk into most restaurants bars cafes etc and still see people smoking in fact the Spanish bar owners are the worst culprits, so whether or not you get your ban ,if it is not enforced then I'm afraid you will still have to put up with smokey atmospheres.I'm a non smoker by the way but my husband smokes quite heavily but it doesn't bother him not to smoke when we go out for the evening he just leaves the table and has a cigarette outside.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Coincidentally, I live in Cyprus, which is a part of Greece. I also smoke cigars,and, having only recently moved here from the UK, I'm 'educated' into not smoking in public places, which I don't. But the other day, I pulled into the car park of a largish computer shop, where I had arranged to collect some ink cartridges, and since the car I was driving didn't have an ash tray (its a Honda Fit), I took the cigar I was smoking into the store. Within 1 minute of my entering and locating the chap I'd arranged to see, another assistant came up and said that another customer, a youngish Cypriot girl had complained about the cigar and would I mind taking it outside, which I promptly did, of course. But the point I'm taking so long to make is, that the store assistant sided immediately (but pleasantly) with the non-smoking customer, which I thought, is a step in the right direction.


    Why on earth the 'thumbs down'? What could I have possibly said to offend anyone? Inverted snobs perhaps, or did a couple of you 'evolutionists, find me? You're weired!!

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  • Orla C
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    Ten years ago if anyone had told me that Ireland would successfully impose a smoking ban throughout the country and include pubs, I would have laughed in their faces. But this did indeed happen, Ireland was the first country to do this. So it could easily happen in Greece. Just start a rumour that the Turks are thinking of doing it, Greece won't want to be beaten to it by Turkey!

    (Sometimes it's good to manipulate the Best Of Enemies/Worst of Friends thing in order to achieve the greater good.)

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  • 1 decade ago

    There is a law prohibiting smoking in public areas, working areas, like banks etc., and restaurants must have non-smoking areas. Until we start DEMANDING what we are entitled to by law, it won't happen. I usually put up a fight in such places, I reach the person in charge and file an official complaint if someone smokes where he is not supposed to. I also ask for a non-smoking area, making sure restauran owners know that I wnat one as a customer. If all those who care do the same, instead of just giving up, it will happen. I was fighting for this since 5 years old, putting up fights on ferries, planes, etc. Yes, 30 years ago people smoked ebven in the non-smoking areas of transport means. Well, my -and other people's - efforts have paid off in these fields, as you probably have noticed. So don't give up, demand, threaten, complain, reward those who have non-smoking policy. Fort example, I go to Starbucks, which is non-smoking, and I prefer restaurants that have non-smoking areas.

    Asimenia, you don't need to lie, you are in the right and people should be ashamed of smoking in your shop, not vice versa. You can put a no-smoking sign, and if someone complains, you can say that other clients -e.g. me - are bothered by smoke and by smelly clothes. Also, in the paidotopos, it is preposterous to smoke! tell the owner that perhaps some parents will not come back, but there are many who don't go there now as it is, because of smoking. Get signatures if need be, call the police if she still refuses, and tell her that you will shut her down by law unless she prohibits smoking! Taking action is the only way to help, otherwise we are part of the problem ourselves if we accept the situation!

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  • Kimon
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    It is not a political issue .... it is just economics.

    Smoke tax is way higher that income tax in Greece. Also smoke tax is live money in the governments coffers, payed instantly. An estimate is about €10-12 million EVERY day is payed in smoke tax.

    They would encourage it if they can get away with it.

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  • 1 decade ago

    I dont know why I thought there already IS a smoking ban in Greece. In many resteraunts etc there are segregated spaces but unfortunately these things in Greece only last a while and then go back to the way they were. You arent allowed to smoke in public places but they make the rule and noone checks up..

    Source(s): I live there.
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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    it is impossible to ban greeks from smoking. it is what they do 24/7.. my greek bf came to visit me here and nearly went insane cos he couldnt smoke anywhere.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Ever heared the quote if in Rome do as the romans do?

    If you don t like Greece as it is you can stay in another country.

    To my opinion they are not behind Europe they are the ones protecting individualism the rest of Europe follwing stupid US smoking bans.

    I do hope Greece will not give in

    Edit sure i have read a lot about the risks of smoking but a lot of that has never been proven scientificaly.Also how comes we smokers do not all die young? And last but not least I don' t like the state enforcing such things by law that reminds me comunism!

    Also I never smoke with kids or pregnant woman around me and also if i get asked kindly if I can stop there must be something like mutual respect and common sense we don t need 'Big Brother'.

    Source(s): Native German frequent traveler and smoker
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  • kati
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    it will happen. i was amazed that france banned smoking recently. every country will see sense and ban it. so you might have to wait for a year or two but it quite rightly will happen

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