It may not be the government’s paraount aim, yet it is a great personal wager for Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis
to achieve the faithful and universal implementation of the anti-smoking law.The PM pledged during the recent electoral campaign that he will enforce the law and his health minister appears to be ardent about the issue.
Former Associate Professor of Respiratory Physiology at Athens University Panagiotis Behrakis, an-ex adjuncy professor at Harvard, who was appointed to head the committee on controlling smoking, has immediately signaled that he will not back down on the issue.
Naturally, there will be resistance based on the supposed rights of smokers and on the financial interests of venues the clienteles of which include smokers. Certain provocative politicians will start guerrilla warfare.
Some of them even smoke illegally in Parliament’s cafeteria, as has been the case for decades.
However, sooner or later everyone will be called upon to enforce the law, and Greece will have to fall in line with other civilised countries, where smoking is banned in closed and even in certain open spaces.
Yet, there is another incredible resistance by certain doctors and nurses who smoke in hospitals, offering a terrible example and outrageously violating their duties.
The charges on which Ta Nea reported today are disturbing and there is no room for leniency.
Will smokers exit hospitals, restaurants, and sports fields to smoke?
Yes, that is what they must do.
As the late Stavros Tsakyrakis wrote in an article that was reprinted in Ta Nea this past Saturday, no one should pity smokers for being unable to smoke in public spaces. One should pity them for being able to smoke freely in their homes