Children suffering as parents puff away

The health of nearly seven out of 10 children living in Athens is being put at risk by their parents’ smoking habit, according to the results of a medical study made public yesterday. Of some 2,133 children with breathing problems examined over the past 10 years by experts at the Elpis Hospital’s pediatric unit, around 65 percent were found to have been exposed to smoke by one or both of their parents. Doctors also found that parents living in Athens have been smoking more, rather than less, following the imposition of smoking restrictions in public places in August 2002. Some 65 percent smoke, compared to 55 percent before the introduction of the new regulations. Medics said the government’s anti-smoking policy was a «failure» and called for harsher penalties for those violating anti-smoking restrictions.

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