No Greek tobacco ads for Olympics

With one of the heaviest smoking populations in the world, Greece has banned outdoor tobacco advertising for a five-month period that will take in the 2004 Olympics.

Tobacco companies did not publicly oppose the ban
Tobacco companies did not publicly oppose the ban

“Outdoor advertising for tobacco products will be banned between 1 June and 1 November  2004,” Deputy Health Minister Ektor Nasiokas said on Wednesday shortly after parliament passed a law to that effect. 

The 2004 Athens Olympics will be staged in August. “The measure will apply throughout Greece,” Nasiokas said, adding that kiosks, a familiar part of Greece’s urban landscape which advertise tobacco products on their awnings, are exempt from the decision. 

Greek tobacco companies did not publicly oppose the law. “It is a temporary measure, just for the Olympics. We just wish it would apply for a shorter period,” Spyros Fregas, head of Greece’s Tobacco Industries Association, told AFP. 

During the parliamentary debate, Health Minister Costas Stefanis expressed his hope that MPs would ratify a World Health Organisation convention banning all kinds of tobacco advertising from 1 July 2005.

Source : AFP

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