Smoking in Greece

Greeks love to smoke. And they do know how to make cigarette packaging look good. Cool designs, flat packs that open from the top (buy a box of Sante cigarettes). Not like the big unattractive boxes they have everywhere else.

The new, stricter anti-smoking legislation which was passed in Greece on 1 September 2010, bans smoking and consumption of tobacco products by other means, in all working places, transportation stations, taxis and passenger ships (it was already prohibited in trains, buses and airplanes), as well in all enclosed public spaces, including bars, restaurants and clubs, with no exception. Smoking is also prohibited in atria and internal areas with removable roofcovers or tents as well as in external seating areas that are surrounded by a tent and are not open from at least two sides.

While fines are particularly heavy, both for smokers who do not comply, as well as for working places or companies which allow smoking (violating the law several times can lead to the enforced closure of a company), the anti-smoking law is not, in effect, implemented and smoking is still permitted in most public spaces in Greece. Posted signage indicating smoking ban legislation are commonly ignored.

In airports, smoking is only permitted in special separated smoking booths equipped with separate ventilation systems and air filters. Currently only the Athens International Airport has installed such booths.

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