Ban on smoking by 2010

Greeks, among the heaviest smokers in the world, will be running out of places to light up in a few years as the government moves to adopt European Union guidelines protecting people from passive smoke. The Health Ministry announced yesterday it will gradually ban smoking in public places, such as cafes and restaurants, by 2010. The stricter measures, aimed at protecting smokers and non-smokers, have the backing of most Greeks. According to a recent survey, eight in 10 Greeks believe that banning the habit from all public places is not an infringement on personal rights. Additionally, 73 percent agreed that the reduction of smoking should be a target in national government policy. Authorities will also launch a marketing campaign aimed at preventing youths from taking up the habit. Some 46 percent of males are regular smokers with the respective percentage among women reaching 31 percent.

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