NEWS

Smoking ban from October 1

Strict new bans on smoking in public areas decided on in May will come into effect at the end of this month, following a Health Ministry decision yesterday which also imposes a November 30 deadline for restaurant and cafeteria owners to set aside large non-smoking areas. The ban on smoking in schools, cramming centers (frontistiria), hospitals, doctors’ surgeries and chemists, buildings housing government or state-funded services, private companies as well as airports, bus and train stations will apply from October 1. Small smoking rooms will be created in most of the above. And smoking will be banned from all means of public transport, including taxis. Owners of restaurants and cafeterias, with the exception of «traditional» coffee shops, will have until November 30 to divide their establishments into smoking and non-smoking (at least 50 percent) areas. This will not apply to open-air areas. Bars and nightclubs are exempt from the new regulations. Greece has the highest percentage of smokers in the EU.