The wager on whether the anti-smoking law could be enforced was difficult.

With a combination of an information campaign, enforcement, and the invaluable cooperation of society the health ministry appears to be winning the bet.

The next wager involves another enormous but less visible problem, that of alcoholism.

As Ta Nea reported the health ministry will stress prevention, educational programmes at schools, and a campaign to sensitise public opinion to the great dangers.

The plan includes support structures such as telephone help lines, supporting rehabilitation centres.

It will also rely on conducting strict checks on venues that serve alcohol and imposing strict penalties for violations.

The enormous scourge of automobile accidents due to drink driving must be eliminated.

With the cognizance that well-being depends not only on economic factors the government also plans to confront the problem of obesity and encourage exercise.

At a time that US President Donald Trump is rolling back former first lady Michelle Obama’s signature achievement – the healthy school lunch programme –by reintroducing hamburgers and French fries, Greek authorities are intensifying their checks at school concession stands to ensure that students are being served healthy foods.

Much has been written about the supposed “particularity of Greeks” who cannot tolerate instructions and prohibitions because they are untamed spirits.

Yet it appears that as is the case in the rest of the civilised world when it comes to health the response of citizens to state initiatives is immediate and en masse.

That is yet another indication of the restoration of normalcy in the country.

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