Harvard to help in smoking ban

Greece is gearing up for a blanket ban on smoking in public places by enlisting the help of Harvard University, with which it signed an agreement yesterday to provide help developing the government's anti-tobacco policies and mounting publicity campaigns. The Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) will also help Greece conduct research, organize conferences and train all the officials who will be involved in imposing the ban as well as developing strategies to foster an anti-smoking culture, particularly among children. The smoking ban, which will prevent Greeks from lighting up in bars, cafes and restaurants, will come into effect on September 1. Julio Frenk, the dean of the HSPH, which has some 300 teaching staff and 950 students, signed the memorandum of cooperation along with the Health Ministry's general secretary, Antonis Dimopoulos, and the president of the Hellenic Cancer Society, Stavros Besbeas.