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'Better laws needed to curb smoking in public'.

Byline: Marianna Pissa

CYPRUS sits eighth on the ladder in terms of smokers in the EU and 11th in terms of cigarette sale prices in Europe.

The results were issued following a survey conducted across EU member states with the initiative of the Help-EU campaign.

In Cyprus, 2,701 people participated in the survey, where it is estimated there are 146,000 smokers in Cyprus a" 23.9 per cent of the population.

Over 220,000 people a" men, women, smokers and non-smokers a" took part in the survey in total. In the EU, the amount of carbon monoxide detected in smokers' bloodstreams presented a 28 per cent decrease from the previous survey .

This is believed to be due to the implementation of a smoking ban in closed spaces a" a law that has so far failed to be implemented in Cyprus.

Health Minister Christos Patsalides last week ordered a survey to be conducted to see how the smoking ban can be better implemented in Cyprus.

Patsalides decided to examine the current law's shortcomings after EU Health Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou expressed her disapproval of Cyprus' failure to properly implement the ban.

Vassiliou also sent a letter to Justice Minister Kypros Chrysostomides asking for a stricter implementation of the law for smoking in public areas.

Chrysostomides blamed the exceptionally low penalties in the law's failure as a deterrent. He said the current fines a" [euro]34 for the law being broken in nightclubs and [euro]85 on public vehicles a" did not act as a disincentive and called on an amendment to make laws harsher.

CARBON Monoxide (CO) is a colourless, odourless gas produced from the incomplete burning of virtually any combustible product. Carbon Monoxide enters the blood from the lungs and combines with haemoglobin, blocking the blood's ability to carry oxygen to body cells. Smoking tobacco increases the CO content of your blood.

The normal level of CO for a non-smoker depends on background levels in the air, but it is usually between 0 and 8 parts per million. The level of CO for a smoker is usually much higher.

A smoker's level of CO varies according to the time of day, the number of tobacco products smoked and how the smoke is inhaled. A person who smokes a pack of cigarettes per day will commonly have a CO level of about 20 parts per million. A two-pack-a-day smoker may have a level of about 40 parts per million.

Copyright [c] Cyprus Mail 2008

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Publication:Cyprus Mail (Cyprus)
Date:Oct 28, 2008
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