According to the recent data displaying that up to one in three secondary school students in Cyprus smoke cigarettes, the health ministry and the police are starting a campaign against smoking.
“Smoking is the only cause of tobacco-related diseases that is avoidable in the world nowadays. It kills six million people a year, 600,000 of which have only been exposed to secondhand smoking. Unless important measure is taken, tobacco smoke will kill more than one billion people this century,” said health minister Androulla Agrotou.
She was speaking at a news meeting to provide the police’s anti-smoking campaign.
Part of the campaign will concentrate on drivers and smoking in the car and will get started on November 18 and last a week.
Law enforcement officers will spread flyers to drivers to inform them of the regulation.
It is against the law to smoke in any vehicles transporting anyone aged 16 or younger and violators face a fine of up to €1,700 and/or up to six months’ imprisonment.
So the police will increase checks, revealing and fining law violators, police spokesman Andreas Angelides said on November 16.
But regardless of earlier and ongoing anti-smoking campaigns, school students do not stop smoking.
Academic at the Cyprus University of Technology, Costas Christofi, displayed a current research that gathered participants from 1,318 secondary school children. In lyceums, 32% of students use such tobacco products as hookah, and in gymnasiums about 17% are smokers of any tobacco product, Christofi mentioned.
Cabinet has authorized an anti-smoking policy developed by an inter-departmental group following rules from World Health Organisation and the European Union. The policy is going to stop children and youth from taking up smoking in order to they do not develop nicotine addiction, to help smokers give up smoking and to prompt a smoke-free environment by means of legislative and other actions, Agrotou said.
She said the health ministry was going to set a national committee to put into action and regulate relevant actions.
At the same time, police stated a decrease of 29% in charges linked to smoking in cars with those under 18, something they attributed on November 16 to the public learning to follow the rule.