Greece prepares EU-style smoking ban

June 12, 2009 at 11:48 AM

ATHENS, Greece, June 12 (UPI) -- Greece's health minister is urging his compatriots, considered the most passionate smokers in the European Union, to strictly obey a bill restricting smoking.

Greek Health Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos said the authorities will enforce without exception the smoking restrictions in public places, offices, restaurants and bars as of July 1, the Kathimerini daily reported Friday.

Avramopoulos said violators will be severely fined as the government is determined to enforce the restrictions to comply with the EU standards and to contain risks of so-called passive smoking.

The Health Ministry will take care that a blanket ban on smoking is respected in public places and offices. Restaurants and cafes whose owners do not designate smoking areas will be treated as non-smoking facilities as of July 1.

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