Free Smoking

Smoking is a habit that people find equally enjoyable or repulsive. In Greece it has been a "guilty pleasure" for centuries, a practice tightly connected with the country's traditions, adding perhaps a touch of orientalism.

But what happens when the E.U. decides that smoking affects not only active smokers but also passive ones? Smoking has been proved to be the cause of serious diseases, such as cancer.

A first law imposing partial bans on smoking was introduced in Greece in July 2009 but went largely unnoticed. On September 1, 2010, the ban was introduced again, fully prohibiting smoking in all public spaces. Nevertheless, in Greece, such as in Spain, a great number of restaurant/bar owners choose to ignore it, claiming not only that their business is harmed by the ban in a time of crisis, but that smoking is also a right which must not be violated.

A steamy debate has begun among smokers and non-smokers, creating only another battle that puzzles the habitants of the country, and makes laws brittle and weak.

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