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April 25th, 2008:

Top Judges Call For Total Smoking Ban

Cyprus: Top judges call for total smoking ban

The existing smoking ban law is not being enforced and what Cyprus really needs is a total ban on smoking.

These are not the conclusions of health experts or politicians, but of two Supreme Court judges who have had enough of the shortcomings of anti-smoking legislation.

The law which prescribes measures for the restriction of public smoking was passed by the House of Representatives in June 2002. It outlines that nobody can smoke in an area where smoking is banned, except in a designated area which has been specifically regulated to accommodate smokers.
Furthermore, employers can only allow smoking in designated areas and employees must ask for written permission to smoke in these.

Penalties for non-compliance are a fine of up to £1,000 (approximately €1,710), and/or a six-month jail sentence.

The judges note that the House of Representatives has failed to adequately define in which areas smoking should be banned and how big these areas should be.

The judges also note that it is paradoxical that police who are present in closed sports centres to prevent violence between fans, do not take any action to stop people who are breaking the law by smoking.

According to the judges passive smoking is a major worry and the only solution is a total ban on smoking in public places.

They do not think that this would be impossible, since countries whose populations were considered fervent smokers such as Italy, Scotland and France have enforced it.

Source: Cyprus Mail, April 2008