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Customers have quit smoking in 70% of stores in Greece, audits reveal

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In a recent investigation undertaken by the National Transparency Authority, in association with ELAS executives, inspectors-auditors have found that in 70% of stores the customers have quit smoking and 60% of shopkeepers have removed ashtrays.

The transparency authority carried out carried out dozens of audits in Rethymnon, Tripoli, Patras, Athens (southern suburbs), Larissa, Volos, Thessaloniki and in the period of 08-14 November. According to the announcement, the audits were carried out from noon to early morning and focused on playgrounds, cafes, bars, nightclubs and catering.

These audits form part of the Single Operational Program of HRD and ELAS with the main aim of informing, in the form of recommendations, the branch managers of the anti-smoking provisions and the providing benefits to public health, society and entrepreneurship.

Overview of audit findings carried out in the above eight cities:

1. Approximately 172 healthcare companies with a maximum of 1650 customers were audited

2. In 72% of cases no smoking was found indoors

3. In 45% of the cases, the designated outdoor areas (regardless of whether smokers were found during the inspection) fell under the anti-smoking restriction (article 16 of Law 4633/19) as they were covered and enclosed.

4. In 55% of the cases, there was either no or missing marking in areas subject to anti-smoking restrictions.

5. In 60% of the shops smoking prevention measures were found and in particular the absence of ashtrays inside the shops.

6. Irregularities (non-existence or non-visa) were recorded in 1 out of 4 businesses regarding the existence and maintenance of a smoking reference book.

National Transparency Authority also revealed that the auditors’ scales recorded the concerns of store managers where their business premises did not meet the requirements of the law, regarding the technical interventions they could make to comply with the provisions. It is also noted that the majority of auditors showed a positive mood and cooperation during the audit.

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