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Can you smoke in Greece?

Greece has laws and regulations regarding smoking in public places. Understanding the rules around smoking can ensure travelers avoid fines or conflicts while visiting the country.

Is smoking banned in Greece?

Greece has banned smoking in all enclosed public places since 2010. This includes bars, restaurants, clubs, casinos, airports, trains, taxis, and other indoor public spaces. There are fines in place for those who violate the smoking ban in indoor public areas.

Where can you smoke in Greece?

While smoking is banned indoors, it is still permitted in some outdoor public places in Greece. These include:

  • Open air spaces of restaurants, bars, and clubs
  • Open air theaters and music venues
  • Open air transit stops like bus stations and taxi stands
  • Parks and beaches
  • Streets and sidewalks

Smokers should be aware of those around them when smoking in permitted outdoor areas and avoid smoking near crowds or children.

What are the fines for smoking in Greece?

Greece takes the indoor smoking ban seriously. If caught smoking inside any indoor public establishment, a smoker can face the following fines:

  • 50-500 euros for the individual smoking
  • 500-10,000 euros for the business owner if someone is found smoking on the premises

These fines increase with each violation. Both smokers and business owners face escalating fines the more they violate the indoor smoking ban.

Where is smoking banned in Greece?

Smoking is completely banned in the following indoor spaces in Greece:

  • Restaurants, bars, and clubs
  • Cafes and coffee shops
  • Stores and markets
  • Museums, galleries, libraries, and other cultural spaces
  • Hotels and other lodging establishments
  • Airports, train stations, ports, and other transportation hubs
  • Taxis and other public transportation
  • Hospitals, clinics, and other medical facilities
  • Government buildings
  • Schools, universities, and other educational facilities
  • Gyms, sports clubs, and fitness centers
  • Theaters, cinemas, and concert halls
  • Casinos and gaming facilities

There are no exceptions made for any indoor public space, including bars and clubs. Smoking is only permitted in designated outdoor areas.

What areas have outdoor smoking bans?

While most outdoor public spaces allow smoking, some popular areas in Greece have banned smoking even outdoors. These include:

  • Outdoor stadiums and sports arenas
  • Outdoor areas of schools, universities, and youth facilities
  • Hospital and clinic courtyards and entryways
  • Public playgrounds and play areas
  • Archaeological sites and museums

Before smoking in any crowded outdoor area, it is best to check signage to see if smoking is prohibited. Most tourist sites, including outdoor ancient sites, have banned smoking throughout their premises.

Does Greece allow vaping and e-cigarettes?

The indoor smoking ban also applies to vaping and the use of e-cigarettes. These battery-operated devices face the same restrictions as traditional tobacco products when it comes to indoor use. Both vaping and e-cigarettes are banned in all indoor public establishments.

Outdoors, vaping and e-cigarettes are permitted anywhere smoking is allowed. However, those using these devices should be aware of those around them, especially children, and avoid vaping near crowds and tight spaces.

What are Greece’s tobacco laws?

In addition to restricting where smoking is allowed, Greece also has laws regarding:

  • Purchase age – Smokers must be 18 or older to purchase tobacco products.
  • Product displays – Stores are banned from openly displaying tobacco products.
  • Packaging – Cigarette packaging must contain warning labels and graphic images showing the health risks of smoking.
  • Advertising – Most forms of tobacco advertising are prohibited.
  • Taxes – Heavy excise taxes increase the price of tobacco products in Greece.

These laws are aimed at discouraging smoking, especially among youth. Travelers should be aware of these restrictions when purchasing tobacco products in Greece.

How strictly is the smoking ban enforced?

Greece is serious about enforcing the indoor smoking ban in public places. Businesses can face hefty fines and temporary closure if inspectors find people smoking inside their premises. In tourist-heavy areas like the Greek Islands, enforcement is especially strict during peak season.

Smokers who light up indoors will first receive a warning to extinguish their cigarettes. Those who refuse or repeat the offense face on-the-spot fines. Inspectors conduct routine checks of establishments to look for violations.

Citizens can also file complaints against businesses violating the indoor smoking ban. This has led many restaurant, bar and club owners to enforce the rules proactively by posting “no smoking” signs and asking patrons not to light up inside.

Do any exemptions exist for indoor smoking?

When the indoor smoking ban first took effect, Greece allowed a transition period for certain establishments like small neighborhood bars and casinos to adapt. However, as of 2012, there are no longer any exemptions made for indoor public spaces. All enclosed areas must be smoke-free at all times when open to the public.

Some key facts about the indoor smoking ban:

  • All restaurants, cafes, and bars are included, regardless of size.
  • Nightclubs and music venues cannot allow indoor smoking in any spaces.
  • Casinos and gaming facilities cannot have exempted smoking lounges or sections.
  • Hotels must provide 100% smoke-free rooms and indoor areas.
  • There are no exceptions for private clubs or membership-only establishments.

Greece has comprehensive guidelines to eliminate indoor smoking and protect people from secondhand smoke exposure when frequenting businesses.

Can you smoke hookah in Greece?

Hookah, also known as shisha or waterpipe tobacco smoking, faces the same restrictions as cigarettes in Greece. Hookah smoking is banned in all indoor public spaces, including hookah lounges and bars.

Outdoors, hookah is permitted in smoking-allowed areas like sidewalks, parks, and outdoor sections of restaurants and cafes. However, hookah often produces more potent secondhand smoke, so those smoking it in public should be considerate of people around them.

Many hookah lounges in Greece have adapted to the law by providing outdoor patio spaces for shisha smoking. Indoor hookah smoking remains illegal, however, even in designated hookah bars.

Does smoking occur in Greece despite the ban?

While many Greeks have adapted to the indoor smoking laws, smoking does still occur illegally in some establishments. Small neighborhood cafes and clubs sometimes overlook indoor smoking among regular local patrons. Enforcement tends to focus more heavily on major tourist areas.

Visitors may still encounter some indoor smoking in remote tavernas or back rooms of certain bars. However, overall compliance with the law is high, and most businesses will ask patrons to smoke outdoors. Violations are not openly tolerated as inspectors do conduct checks and impose fines.

What do most Greeks think about the smoking ban?

When the indoor smoking ban first took effect, some Greeks were reluctant to give up their smoking culture staples like smoking in bars and restaurants. However, over time, public support for the indoor smoking restrictions has grown. Most Greeks now appreciate the health benefits and cleaner indoor air the laws have brought.

Many Greeks have adapted by tolerating outdoor smoking sections or leaving establishments to smoke outside. While a nuisance to some smokers, the majority accepts the ban as an overall positive step for the country’s public health.

Is secondhand smoke a problem in Greece?

Thanks to the indoor smoking ban, secondhand smoke exposure has decreased significantly in Greece over the past decade. By prohibiting smoking inside, the country has provided smoke-free air for patrons and staff of businesses and public transportation.

However, secondhand smoke remains an issue anywhere smoking is permitted outdoors. In crowded spaces like sidewalks, bus stops, and parks, nonsmokers can still inhale toxic fumes against their wishes. More education is still needed to promote smoking courtesy in shared outdoor areas.


Greece has comprehensive nationwide laws banning smoking in all indoor public places. These restrictions aim to protect people’s health and apply to both locals and visiting tourists. While smoking is still allowed outdoors, those who do smoke or vape in public should be respectful of those around them. Understanding and following Greece’s smoking regulations helps ensure an enjoyable experience for residents and travelers alike.

Type of Place Is smoking allowed indoors?
Restaurants No
Bars No
Nightclubs No
Cafes and coffee shops No
Hotels No
Airports No
Trains and metros No
Taxis No
Ferries and ports No
Museums and galleries No

Fines for Smoking in Banned Indoor Areas

Offense Individual Fine Business Fine
1st Violation 50-500 euros 500-10,000 euros
2nd Violation 500-1,000 euros 10,000-20,000 euros
3rd Violation 1,000-2,000 euros 20,000-50,000 euros
4+ Violations 2,000-10,000 euros Closure

Places with Outdoor Smoking Bans

School/University Courtyards
Hospital Entryways
Public Playgrounds
Sports Stadiums
Archaeological Sites
Public Transit Platforms