Chain-smoking Greeks face tough new ban after previous restrictions were mostly ignored

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greece is set to impose a tough smoking ban starting Wednesday that will outlaw lighting up in all public indoor areas and prohibit most tobacco advertising.

The country's health ministry says the measures are necessary after partial smoking bans that started eight years ago have largely been ignored.

Some 42 percent of Greeks over age 15 smoke, well above the European Union average of 29 percent, according to EU figures.

Harvard University's School of Public Health is assisting the Greek campaign and will help gather data in Greek cities to gauge the effect the ban.

Smokers violating the new law will be fined between €50 and €500 ($65 and $650), while businesses will be fined between €500 and €10,000 ($650 and $12,750).