Anti-smoking law – This will be applied (procedure)

“Number One” Intervention in Healthcare is for the new government to implement the anti-smoking law. Stringent legislation has been harassing our country since 2009, since the lack of political will has since turned them down in practice.

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis laid the first of the Ministry of Health’s immediate priorities to implement the law by raising the bar of society’s expectations for this major public health issue.

The blue envelope received last Wednesday by Vasilis Kikilias – who shares the same strong anti-smoking conscience with the Prime Minister – gives a strict mandate to respect what is defined by the anti-smoking legislation, which provides for a universal ban on smoking in all public enclosures .

Implementation of what the legislator foresees will be accompanied by intensified controls – it is noted that the plan involves greater involvement of the police – but also a telephone line for reporting offenses expected to be operational within six months.

This intervention – if implemented – will gradually heal the countless injuries caused by smoking.

World Health Organization (WHO) data reveal the magnitude of the damage caused by uncontrolled smoking in bars, restaurants, cafes … even in playgrounds. In 2018, 9,964 new cases of lung cancer (including 7,862 men and 2,102 women) and more than 8,300 cases of patients diagnosed with other types of cancer related to smoking (eg, esophagus, stomach cancer and oral cavity).

In addition, relevant studies describe the contradictions that “choke” public places from cigarette smoke. Our country ranks 3rd in the list of countries with the toughest regulatory framework for electronic cigarettes, and it is one of the most punishable taxes on tobacco, ranking fourth in the ranking, behind Great Britain, France and Finland.


Focusing solely on the rigor of the legislator, according to the results of the Nanny State Index for 2019 – recently presented by KEFIM in cooperation with the European Policy Information Center (EpiCENTER) – Greece is the 5th worst country in Europe to be a smoker.

The oxymoron is – in the light of strict laws and ministerial decisions – that Greece has one of the highest rates of smoke throughout Europe and globally.


According to the estimates of the Hellenic Cancer Society’s scientists, every year, a lung cancer is lost to a population equal to the inhabitants of an island, such as Ikaria or Leros. If we even account for the other cancers and the illnesses that cause smoking, the number of deaths would wipe out as many fellow citizens as the population of the Cycladic islands in a few years.

However, despite the persistent warnings of the scientific community, the Greek state continued to … close the eye to smokers, in the absence of an effective control mechanism.

For history, in 2018, and after numerous publicity reports on government apathy, Health Minister Andreas Xanthos reinstated the issue of intensifying controls and fines according to anti-smoking law.


Then the specially scorched fines provided by the legislator have been brought to the fore – it is stated that in the case of a violation of the smoking ban on vehicles when minors (under 12 years of age) are charged an administrative fine of EUR 1,500 to the smoker, regardless of whether it is a driver have never been imposed (few cases).

It is noteworthy that in the past year, the City of Athens carried out 3,016 audits in Athens, which resulted in 513 cases of violations.

It is worth noting that with the change of page, as signaled by this decision of the new government, it actually opens a new chapter of targeting the overall policy design of the multipurpose health sector.

It is a coordinated prevention policy – an area that … feels ill in our country – as the “fanfare” of actions focuses on reducing cancer and treating chronic diseases on the other. Thus, the goal is to reduce smokers by 50% in five years.

In fact, the Federation of Pharmaceutical Enterprises of Greece (SFEE) expressed its full support for the universal ban on smoking in all public closed spaces without exception, as well as other similar initiatives of the Ministry of Health on the prevention and improvement of public health.

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