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Letter to "POSDEP"

Athens, December 28, 2009

 

Subject: SMOKING BAN IN INSTITUTIONS OF HIGHER LEARNING AND POSSIBLE ACTIONS FOR ITS ENFORCEMENT

As of 1980, after a health provision came into effect, smoking has been prohibited in all indoor public spaces (reception areas, meeting rooms, assemblies, elevators etc) that belong to government owned institutions, to legal persons of the state or privately endorsed etc. in other words, smoking has been banned in all indoor spaces of institutions of higher learning since then. Violation of this ban is liable to an imprisonment sentence of up to 3 months or a monetary fine. It seems that the offices of the professors and other work areas are not considered public spaces. Those responsible for enforcing the ban are the deans and chairmen of the institutions (as direct heads of the institutions).

The 2003 health provision repeated the projection for a smoking ban in greater detail. Thus, this provision specifies that smoking is prohibited in all buildings that accommodate Offices of Public Services, legal persons of the state etc. (that is to say, all College and University buildings), and it explicitly states for the first time that smoking is prohibited in all places where education is provided, such as Universities, Technological Institutions and, generally speaking, in every Institution of tertiary education.

This health provision, allows the creation of smoking rooms inside these buildings, which will be appropriately designed with ventilation systems for employees who smoke, for the faculty members of the institutions (scientific and administrative and personnel aide) and for the students. The directors-heads of all institutions (the deans of the institutions of higher learning and the chairmen of the technological institutions) will specify the appropriate spaces depending on their needs, and with the purpose of not interfering with the essential operation of services offered.

A 2003 modification of this health provision added to the ban: waiting rooms, reception areas, areas of public transactions, meeting and assembly rooms, amphitheatres, etc. (repeating the relative prohibition of 1980).

The 3730/2008 law did not add something relative to a prohibition of smoking in the institutions of tertiary education.

Finally, as of 1989, with a ministerial decision, advertisements of tobacco products have been prohibited in the Educational Institutions of all ranks. This prohibition was also repeated in the 3730/2008 law.

Possible actions for its enforcement:

1) Employees and professors should take a public stand against smoking, promote health and speak up for enforcing the smoking ban in the institutions. Posters and leaflets should be placed in the institutions and a Banner on the University web pages.
2) Disposal of available resources in favor of this action with organisation of events and informative material.
3) Joining forces (exchanging materials and facts with one another, briefing one another, supporting one another).
4) Foresee relative adjustments to the Operation of Internal Regulations in institutions of higher learning and technological institutions (the ban today applies only to school libraries).
5) Attract volunteers to take part in the actions of Nosmoke.gr.
6) Help students organize non-smoking events i.e. smoke-free parties, non-smoking campaigns etc.
7) Creation of the first Pan-Hellenic no-smoking institution of higher learning (by enforcing the laws that ALREADY EXIST), that will function as a case in point for the rest of the institutions.

Kind Regards,

Alexandros Fotinos
President of Nosmoke.gr

Dimitrios Diamantopoulos
Legal adviser of Nosmoke.gr