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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Secondary smoking and children's health in Greece Δευτεροβάθμιας καπνίσματος και την υγεία των παιδιών

When the problem is addressed to the school about school bus drivers who smoke while on duty , so far the solution they provided is to change your child’s seat to be farther away from the driver so other children will fall victim to the same problem. Is it so difficult to prohibit the school bus drivers from smoking while on duty, or simply not to hire smokers that can't skip smoking while on duty in Greece?

Do educators in Greece really care for their children’s health? If they do, then the smoke-free education should be provided to the teachers and the employees of the schools first because in Greece the teacher's common rooms are full of smoke and of course there is no designated smoking area for teachers who smoke (this is the case for the public school my children used to attend), and many private school bus drivers smoke on duty.

What is secondhand smoke?

When a person smokes near you, you breathe secondhand smoke. Secondhand smoke is the combination of smoke from the burning end of the cigarette and the smoke breathed out by smokers. When you breathe secondhand smoke, it is like you are smoking. Whether you are young or old, healthy or sick, secondhand smoke is dangerous.

This is a persistent problem that my son faces every morning on the way to his school and every afternoon on the way back from his school (in Ψυχικο). He couldn’t stand it anymore, and one day he finally broke silence and told me that he had been exposed to this problem for more than a year and a half.

May I please ask the educators in Greece to review the following links about the danger of secondhand smoke to the health of our young generation and to find a solution to protect our children’s rights?

And for the government of Greece to find ways such as implement much heavier tobacco tax or at least to fine smoking by individuals who break the law. So far the law has described what to ban, and has a section concerning penalties, but do you see any less smkoing in those banned public places since July of 2002, is the law there just for decoration purpose ?

Note 1:

The strange phenomenon in Greece is that the passengers do obey the non-smoking sign, but not the drivers. It is often seen on the bus that the driver smokes on duty while the bus has a no smoking sign.

A few years back, it is my own personal experience on the Olympic Airways of an inter-continental flight that I was sitting on the first row with the baby in the cot and the airline stewardess was smoking just behind the curtain and the smoke was coming out from behind the curtain. It is always the employees of the carrier (and it's state-owned too) that break the non-smoking law! After that I stay away from the Olympic Airways whenever I have other airline options.

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