The Smoking Police were in Sitia this morning complete with measuring equipment to test air quality inside buildings. They took samples in tavernas, kafenions and shops. The owners of any premises that failed the test in terms of air quality was issued with a formal warning.
Excellent. I've seen no such policing in Chania yet however. They need to do this a bit and issue a few fines just to flex the muscle, or people will start ignoring the law. That said, the ban appears to be very effective in public buildings and even shops, much to my astonishment.
I agree that a total ban indoors is the best way but any progress in this area is much welcome for me. Well done Greece and a hearty congratulations to the Health Minister, who is my hero! Looking forward to more progress.
The 70 sq m exemption is the biggest disappointment however. I have yet to find a non-smoking bar in all of Crete, and am unlikely to now, since 99.99999% of these are < 70 sq m, which of course is the whole idea. Greeks should note that Turkey (the old nemesis) has just extended their smoking bans to ALL bars.
They also need to enforce a discrimination between "public places" = non-smoking and public places containing cafes. The KTEL bus station in Chania is a case in point: miraculously, there is suddenly no smoking in the waiting hall (which is great), except there is a little cafe partitioned off in the corner - air flows freely in and out of this, there are no doors that close, no separation of ventilation. Card players sit in there smoking all day stinking up the waiting area! Presumably KTEL are hoping that is defined as a <70 sq m cafe but it is NOT separate in any meaningful way from the bus station waiting area. And just how are they supposed to prevent children from entering the cafe from the bus station - which means it is illegal as a "smoking" cafe. Cafes/bars in public areas like this need to simply not be entitled to the 70 sq m exemption, period. Otherwise they will split hairs over what is "separate" etc.
They also need to start issuing fines in cafes <70 sq m where children are present, which means there cannot be any smoking.
This type of thing needs to be clamped down on now.
As for bus drivers - yes a few are still trying to smoke, ditto taxi drivers. I have nearly come to blows with a few taxi drivers in the past over their refusal to put out a cigarette. A few taxi drivers have refused to take me in the past if they could not smoke - which was illegal before the ban - both the refusal (if their 'vacant' sign was up) and the smoking. But, even before July 1 2009, I found if you asked a bus driver to put out his cigarette because smoking is not allowed, they will. They don't want you reporting them, it's not worth it. Greece needs to clamp down on this further, we should no longer have to risk a torrent of abuse for asking a driver to put out a cigarette.
One more thing: where are the signs? I thought there were supposed to be signs indicating which establishments were smoking and which were not?
Does anyone have a link to the text of the final law translated into English?