Greece Allows Smoking Areas in Bars, Clubs, Casinos, Lotto

Anti-Smoking LawA provision in the wide-ranging bill tabled by the Greek Ministry for Development will legalize smoking areas in casinos, night clubs and live music venues larger than 300m², as well as betting shops, including lottery outlets.

The only restrictions imposed are that these smoking areas must not exceed half a store’s floorspace and, moreover, owners of such stores should pay an annual fee of 200 euros per square metre.

Greece has more smokers per capita than any other country in the EU, with recent surveys indicating more than 40% of Greeks aged 15 and over smoke, considerably above the EU average of 29%, and although smoking in indoor public spaces has been banned since 2010, the law has been widely flouted, a situation only heightened by inefficiency in punishing the offenders.

Smoking in public places is so commonplace in Greece, especially in her bars and clubs, that even cash-strapped authorities have been notably tolerant, rarely levying fines that for individuals reach 500 euros, while proprietors risk penalties up to 10,000 euros and even suspension of their operating licence.


  1. Instead of legalizing tobacco smoking in bars, they should legalize coffee shops selling marijuana like in the Netherlands. Greece would get thousands of ‘tourists’.

  2. They’ll miss their flights, get lost and just eat a lot….;-) The healthcare system is questionable at best, stoned tourists on a caffeine rush won’t help.

  3. This should be strictly a business decision to allow smoking on the premises or not. If smoking disturbs patrons they can go someplace else that is smoke free. Patrons means income.

  4. It means the smoking ban movement is coming to an end………………Its been a long fight and especially in Greece where the EU would not do a bailout until Greece passed a smoking ban. Then the EU and the WHO had the Boston school of public healthism go to Athens and ensure the ban was being implemented before any loans were made to Greece. The same happened in about all the EU countries unless they were sufficiently Nazified already like Ireland and Scotland

  5. This pretty well destroys the Myth of second hand smoke:

    Lungs from pack-a-day smokers safe for transplant, study finds.

    By JoNel Aleccia, Staff Writer, NBC News.

    Using lung transplants from heavy smokers may sound like a cruel joke, but a new study finds that organs taken from people who puffed a pack a day for more than 20 years are likely safe.

    What’s more, the analysis of lung transplant data from the U.S. between 2005 and 2011 confirms what transplant experts say they already know: For some patients on a crowded organ waiting list, lungs from smokers are better than none.

    “I think people are grateful just to have a shot at getting lungs,” said Dr. Sharven Taghavi, a cardiovascular surgical resident at Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia, who led the new study………………………

    Ive done the math here and this is how it works out with second ahnd smoke and people inhaling it!

    The 16 cities study conducted by the U.S. DEPT OF ENERGY and later by Oakridge National laboratories discovered:

    Cigarette smoke, bartenders annual exposure to smoke rises, at most, to the equivalent of 6 cigarettes/year.


    A bartender would have to work in second hand smoke for 2433 years to get an equivalent dose.

    Then the average non-smoker in a ventilated restaurant for an hour would have to go back and forth each day for 119,000 years to get an equivalent 20 years of smoking a pack a day! Pretty well impossible ehh!

  6. 200 Euros PER SQUARE METER? There’s a word for this in English: Extortion. Usually carried on by illegal mobsters who deserve to be belly-shot for holding up the shopkeepers for “protection money.”

    The biz owners should universally refuse to cooperate with this robbery, and also refuse to pay any fines for allowing smoking if they want to. If the Greek government thinks it can survive closing down half or more of its pubs and clubs… well… my guess is that the Greeks would vote to join Mr. Putin simply to get them re-opened.

    Greek business owners need to challenge the law on the basis of it being illegal for the government to enslave them to act as unarmed, untrained, unpaid, uninsured, and unempowered Citizen Vigilante Law Enforcers. They can be asked to hang signs. They can be asked to tell customers that it is illegal to smoke. BUT THAT IS ALL that can be demanded of them, and that is ALL that they should do. Otherwise they’re simply looking at their murderers and offering to help hold the knife that’s slitting their throat.

    Michael J. McFadden

  7. Not surprising really seeing as Greece are one of the leading tobacco growers within Europe, that is probably why the EFVI is at such a low count for them, why would they vote for something that would in-effect destroy their own economy.

  8. Don’t they mix their weed with….tobacco?
    Why not just have a tolerant society all around?

  9. Smoking bans should be repealed. Now that eating burgers, sausages, bacon and other processed meat is alleged to be as hazardous as smoking will this extortion be levied on all restaurants?

  10. Smoking bans should be repealed. Now that eating burgers, sausages, bacon and other processed meat is alleged to be as hazardous as smoking will this extortion be levied on all restaurants?