A new smoking ban law in Greece


A new smoking ban law without any exception under immediate enforcement”


As of November 19th, 2019, the new Greek Smoking Ban Law is coming into force broadly to all closed public spaces, including public and private working spaces, restaurants, bars, means of transportation etc. After 18 years from the first legislation, this is the only time that the Greek Government and the Prime Minister himself, manifest the public will to prioritize this issue of Public Health protection by enforcing additional measures aiming to an efficient enforcement.

The Minister of Health, Dr Vassilis Kikilias, proved that the Smoking Ban Law was one of the major issues of his agenda; aiming at the establishment of updated policy, the Minister nominated an Experts Committee of non-governmental members whose goal is to promote Tobacco Control in Greece and assist on the enforcement of the Law. Prof. Panagiotis Behrakis, President of the ENSP Scientific Committee, was honored to accept the role of the Committee’s Coordinator, as an acknowledgement of his enduring national and international efforts on tobacco prevention and control. During summertime, Prof. Behrakis had a very close collaboration with the Minister and his team in order to set the stage for the upcoming measures. The Committee is now consisted by 6 additional distinguished Greek scientists, determined to contribute and support the upcoming change of the Greek society’s profile.

Based on the first indications, the Greek society is more than ready to accept and comply with the legislation. More and more people, smokers and non-smokers, demand smoke-free spaces for their professional and social life. The Law was slightly updated including specially defined open spaces, such as playgrounds and sports facilities, in order to enforce the tobacco prevention in youth. Eventually, the Greek Parliament approved, in absolute majority, the new Legislation and all Greek authorities are on-hand for the successful implementation that will bring Greece into alignment to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.

 

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