I am not sure official rules, but I had some experience seeing driver on public bus in Greece (on national roads) smoking but did not want to say anything to distract him as he was also eating a sandwhich and talking on cell phone at the same time. I have to say though there was not any smoke in the bus, seemed to go out the window.
LOL!! Usually, it's a cup of coffee..and cig..and yes, they do keep their window open blowing the smoke out;-) You won't have any problems w/cabs in Athens Dreams_of_Travel..and am sure if it's an organized 'tour' coach, there won't be smoking there either..but you never know! Have a great trip..and Enjoy!
How funny TravelSmith! (PS--don't you own a clothing store that specializes in travel apparel?) I see high school students doing that very same thing when they drive here once they have driven out of sight of their parents. And then they wonder why they get in accidents...
Do most of the taxi drivers have a sense of humor? Maybe it depends on the time of day? If they seem jovial, it would be easier to ask them to snuf it til I leave the car. Or, to open their window wider... It will be early May, so we shouldn't have to have the AC on with windows rolled up.
....Cabbies do not smoke in the cabs..you won't have a problem whatsoever there;-) They may be smokers..but do not smoke in their cars..unless a smoker gets in and asks if they can lite up..oftentimes, they do say no to keep their vehicles smoke-free! Enjoyin'!
I disagree with Litsa, I was in Athens only last month and came across a couple of smoking taxi drivers. It's not common (or not as common as it once used to be) but it does happen. I think it's accurate to say that some bus and taxi drivers do smoke while driving, without necessarily asking for your permission. They will generally keep the nearest window open and keep the cigarette out of the window as much as possible.
In my experience, taxi drivers rarely light up once you're in the taxi without asking you first, but if you flag down a taxi and the driver happened to be having a smoke at the time, he won't put it out just because he picked up a ride. There is no legislation that stops them from smoking while driving.
How they might react if you ask them to put the cigarette out... I guess most will comply with good grace. Whenever I've asked a taxi driver to not smoke, they have complied, some with a smile and some muttering under their breaths. I've never tried it on a bus driver though.
Greece has a law prohibiting smoking in enclosed public places. I'm not sure whether it applies to taxis but the no smoking law is like many others in Greece - optional. I.e. if you're a smoker and regard the law as an infringement of your human rights, you simply disregard it.
the (2nd) no smoking ban which came into affect last year hasn't really taken off from what i can see. some people just blatantly ignore it. many bars and restaurants still have ashtrays on the tables inside the premises. i have certainly seen bus drivers still smoking, not sure about taxi drivers.
Interesting indeed! Thanks to all who have commented. We will be riding with some drivers who are doing private tours for us in Greece and Turkey, so it is good to know more about what to expect in Greece atleast.
I was in Ireland in 2008 and they had recently started enforcing the smoking ban in pubs. It was great for us non-smoking tourists. They worried about affecting their business, and the same has been done here in Michigan--no smoking in any place of business or public transportation vehicles/stops, schools, etc. Soon University of Michigan will ban smoking even outdoors on the campus. That will be hard to enforce, but I am saying hooray!
I don't think you'll have problems with private tour drivers in Greece. You're presumably paying them serious money, so they should be on their best behaviour (as opposed to some taxi drivers in Athens who operate under the impression that they're doing you a favour).
I think you've got a great attitude Dreams_of_Travel and seeing how you are indeed joining an organized tour, don't think you'll have any issues..and if you do happen to find a cab with a smoker, I doubt you'll have any issues there as well..they are used to foreignors being more non-smoking these days and I've yet to get in a cab there the past couple of years with someone smoking when I got in..on the contrary IME, the ones I've gotten into just don't allow it..even having the infamous 'no smoking' sign clearly visible in the car;-) Bottom line...when in Rome.... Keep enjoyin'!