The number of cigarette smokers in Greece has dropped considerably for the first time in years, according to three relevant reports that suggest a decline between 4 and 9 pct, the health ministry announced on Tuesday.

Despite the fact that the implementation of the anti-smoking law is not regarded as successful it appears that tobacco users have realized the benefits of reducing or cutting smoking altogether, health ministry general secretary Antonis Dimopoulos pointed out.

The number of smokers using hospital anti-smoking clinics has doubled, while 65 pct of the Greeks have responded that they do not smoke when they go out. The anti-smoking legislation is seen as positive development by 70 pct of res.

Based on the available figures, one million euros in the anti-smoking fines have already been collected, while the anti-smoking law violations hotline (1142) has received 23,000 calls since its activation.