Public smoking is to be stubbed out

Greek chain-smokers, passionately defensive of their right to light up whenever and wherever they like, face an unwelcome compromise tomorrow when strict new bans on smoking in public areas – carrying fines of up to 90 euros – are finally implemented. Hospitals, doctors’ surgeries and other healthcare facilities will be the first stop for state inspectors checking whether smokers are being restricted to «designated areas,» as dictated by the new rules introduced by the Health Ministry in May. The ban also applies to schools, public service buildings and private companies as well as airports, bus and train stations. Smokers will also have to forego their cigarettes in all means of public transport, including taxis. Owners of restaurants and cafeterias, with the exception of «traditional» coffee shops have until December 1 to divide their premises into smoking and non-smoking areas.

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