Half Greek smokers have high CO levels

Half of Greek smokers have an excessively high level of carbon monoxide (CO) in their lungs, new research shows. One in two Greeks, out of a sample of 6,991 whose exhaled breath was tested, exceeded the European Union warning level for CO pollution of 8.5 parts per million (ppm). According to the research, carried out by Athens University’s lung unit, smokers whose breath had the highest levels of CO were those working in offices where smoking is permitted. There the average CO level was 24.4 ppm, three times the EU limit. For smokers working in hospitals, the average level was 24.1 ppm. Deputy Health Minister Giorgos Papageorgiou said a parliamentary committee will next week discuss a bill envisaging a ban on the sale of tobacco to minors and a ban on smoking in public places. According to the World Health Organization nearly four in 10 Greeks aged over 15 smoke daily.