Cigarettes to bear big health notice

Cigarettes are to bear health warnings covering half the packaging in the first half of next year when Greece must adopt European Union regulations regarding tobacco products, officials said Tuesday as new figures showed that the proportion of the Greek population that smokes is dipping.

According to statistics made public Tuesday by Michalis Toumbis, head of the Hellenic Thoracic Society, ahead of World No Tobacco Day on May 31, between 34 and 38 percent of Greeks smoke, compared to 42 percent in 2009.

Around 18 percent of deaths of Greek adults aged over 35 are attributable to smoking, while 14.4 percent of the state health budget goes to treating diseases linked to smoking, according to Costas Athanasakis of the National School of Public Health.

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