Anger from cafes, bars and restaurants under the anti-smoking law – What they suggest

Clouds’ in catering industry adopts anti-smoking law / Photo: INTIME NEWS

The total ban on smoking in public places, introduced by the new anti-smoking law , is causing a big headache for caterers (cafes, bars and restaurants).

The provisions of the anti-smoking law, passed by a wide majority in the House , leave little room for the owners of restaurants, bars and cafés to express fears of a sharp decline in their turnover.

It is recalled that the new anti-smoking law provides for “stingy” fines for both offenders and businesses, as well as police inspections – which respond to this responsibility.

POSEE: First total smoking ban cuts turnover by 40%
The George Kavathas , president of the Panhellenic Federation of Restaurant and Related Occupations (IMNCP) explains iefimerida.gr that “definitely a problem, the new anti-smoking law. Suffice it to think that eight or nine years ago, when the total ban went into effect for the first time, we had a 40% drop in turnover. Let’s hope this doesn’t happen now, “he adds.

“Our only motive is that smoking is harmful to health, just like universal bans on democracy,” Mr. Kavvathas said, noting that “amendments to the anti-smoking law are needed.” The UNESCO is expected to submit proposals for ‘windows’ provisions for specific sub-sectors.

“It is inappropriate, for example, to talk about a total ban on smoking in nightclubs. In addition, cafes should be fully segregated into non-smoking areas, as is the case in other European countries. Another solution that the government could consider is to have the right of choice in business, ”says the President of the POESE.

Kavvathas: Unfair fines to businesses
Giorgos Kavvathas points out that “it is unfair to impose penalties on businesses when they receive all the legal requirements. That is, when it has no ashtrays, it is labeled and recommends to the customer. We have no other options. We can neither use violence nor surrender our customers, ”he says.

According to the president of the UNESCO, the only promising point “is that the number of smokers in the general population has fallen by 6% to 7% in recent years. A culture of people coming out of the shops to smoke or ask their neighbor if it is bothering them is starting to take hold. This urban courtesy can help in some way. ”
Concluding, Mr Kavvathas emphasizes that “anyway, unless control is taken, the measure will be annulled in practice and we will be faced with the same issues again.”

“To create non-smoking and non-smoking shops”
Businessmen’s fixed position is the separation of shops into smokers and non-smokers / Photo: INTIME NEWS
Implementation of the new, rigorous anti-smoking framework has sparked strong reactions from catering owners, who argue that more lenient solutions could be found by the government.

“What we have proposed in the past is to divide the shops into non-smokers and non-smokers. That way the smoker could go to a non-smoking shop, respecting that he can’t smoke and, conversely, a non-smoker visit a smoker’s shop knowing what he will encounter, ” Yiannis tells iefimerida.gr Panagiotakis , one of the owners of the historic bar ” Hippopotamus “, operating since 1978 on Delphi Street, in Kolonaki.

Yiannis Panagiotakis estimates that the anti-smoking law “will hurt our business and the industry in general, especially now that it is hibernating. It is clear that either the client’s residence time will be reduced, or the attendance will be reduced, or, most likely, both. ”

Anti-smoking condemns shops that do not have a yard
Caterers believe the smoking law will cause even more problems for shops with no backyard or easy access to the outdoors. In addition, they fear that specific provisions of the anti-smoking framework “baptize” as closed spaces the yards that do not have two exits.

“We have a courtyard at Hippopotamus and anyway we encouraged our friends and customers to smoke there. But what we are told is that because it does not have two exits, it will be considered an enclosed space, ”Yiannis Panagiotakis notes.

“I think it would be more honorable to ban cigarettes in general. As if they wanted to combat smoking, there are other ways. They could give tax incentives to non-smoking shops, or impose anti-incentives on tobacco shops, such as e.g. a public health levy on tobacco shops. They have been experimenting with thousands of people’s earnings, and we hope they understand it before it’s too late, “says one of the owners of Hippopotamus.

Source –  iefimerida.gr 

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