General News: Greeks cutting back on smoking, figures show

There are clear signs that Greeks have started smoking significantly less, the head of the National Coordinating Committee for the Control of Smoking Panagiotis Behrakis said on Wednesday. He was speaking during a press conference held in view of World No Tobacco Day on May 31.
According to figures presented by Behrakis concerning the past four years, rates of smoking had fallen by 10.8 percent in that time, while more careful examination showed that the largest reduction in smoking rates was in younger age groups.

There was also a 6.3 percent reduction in annual tobacco consumption in Greece after 2007, with the total number of cigarettes bought throughout the country falling from 3.1 billion in 2007 to 2.48 billion at present. The reduction in cigarettes consumed during the last year, in particular, was nearly 15 percent.

Also based on total consumption figures, the number of cigarettes consumed per capita - for both smokers and non-smokers - appears to have declined steadily by 3 percent on an annual basis.

Members of the government present at the press conference referred to problems with inspections for the enforcement of tough anti-smoking legislation, while noting that this was 'on a good road', and underlined their commitment to fight smoking as the number one threat to public health.

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