Greek Smokers Puff Their Way to Hospitals

rSmoking is responsible for 8.9 percent of admissions to Greek state hospitals, according to the conclusions of a conference held on April 18 at Hypatia Megaron. The conference was organized by the Ministry of Health’s National Committee for the Control of Smοking, the National School of Public Health, the Biomedical Research Foundation (BRFAA) of the Academy of Athens and the Hellenic Anti-Cancer Society.

In particular, the smoking habit constitutes the most important danger for the population’s health in Greece. Approximately 17 percent of deaths at the age above 30 are caused by smoking, which is quite a high mortality rate. According to estimates, smoking is responsible for 12.9 percent of the total morbidity and mortality rate in the country.

The morbidity rate, as well as the seriousness and complexity of the different health problems smoking causes, result in high medical requirements and in specialized medical care. Therefore, smoking is accompanied by significant expenses for the health system and society in general.

According to estimates by the National School of Public Health, smoking accounts for 199,029 admissions to Greek state hospitals, representing 8.9 percent of the total number of admissions.

The total expense of state hospitals linked with smoking reaches 400 to 550 million euros representing 7.7 to 10.7 percent of the total budget.

According to the survey, the total direct medical cost attributed to the smoking habit reaches 1.76 billion euros annually, representing 7.9 of the total public expenses on health.


  1. Addictions to nicotine and alcohol are a serious problem in Greece. The Greek government has got to do something really muscular about this problem. However, as it seems Greeks are so resistant to measures introduced to reduce tax evasion, one wonders how on earth the government will ever reduce the addictions to nicotine and alcohol.


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