NEWS

Smoking ban ‘not working’

More than six months after smoking restrictions were applied in public spaces, in line with European Union legislation, little has changed, authorities have told Kathimerini. Although an awareness campaign was well received by the public in the countdown to the July 1 ban, the necessary reforms have not been carried out to ensure that the restrictions are enforced. As a result, smoking continues in most bars and cafes, public offices and hospitals, according to Panayiotis Behrakis, the head of a steering committee set up to oversee the implementation of the restrictions. «The whole country is smoking,» he said. Sources said there have been around 100,000 calls to a special phone line, chiefly from bar and cafe owners seeking information about the restrictions, and about 3,000 complaints about the law being flouted. One of the problems seems to be that bar and cafe owners have submitted incomplete applications for revised operating licenses.