8 Oct 2010

Smoking ban ignored in Greece

9:16 am on 8 October 2010

People in Greece are largely ignoring a new smoking ban, lighting up in restaurants and bars despite threats of fines.

The government had hoped fines of up to 10,000 euros ($US13,990) for bar owners and up to 500 euros for smokers would work after a partial ban in 2009 was largely ignored.

They had been under a deadline of 1 October to comply with the ban.

However, health officials say undercover inspectors have found the ban is being violated in eight out of 10 cases.

About 40% of people in Greece smoke.