In this episode of #GFNVoices, KAC THRSP scholar Eleni Diamantopoulou joins us to give us her thoughts on the #GFN23 conference and the vaping/smoking situation in Greece.
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Joanna Junak: What do you think about this year's GFN conference?
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Eleni Diamantopoulou: Well, at GFN it's a great opportunity to disseminate information, to come in contact with scientists and regulators, and also it gives you the opportunity to be up to date as far as THR.
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Joanna Junak: You participated in THR's scholarship programme. Can you tell us more about the projects you are involved with?
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Eleni Diamantopoulou: Well, my project was about the knowledge and perceptions of healthcare professionals working in public and private smoking cessation clinics about nicotine, nicotine replacement therapies and tobacco harm reduction products.
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Joanna Junak: And which sessions have been the most interesting for you so far?
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Eleni Diamantopoulou: Well, the most important session is for low-income countries about the THR and misconceptions between healthcare professionals and nicotine products, such as cigarettes or heated tobacco products.
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Joanna Junak: So, can you tell us briefly about the situation in Greece regarding smoking and vaping?
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Eleni Diamantopoulou: Well, in Greece, smoking still remains a major public health issue. According to the latest special Eurobarometer, Greece has one of the highest smoking prevalence in the European Union. Despite the intense efforts of regulators, Greece has 39% who are regular smokers. That means that approximately 3.5 million people in Greece are still smoking. But on the other hand, we had a lot of vapers, a vaping prevalence between 2%. This percentage is 185,000 people who are vapers and they had a past smoking status, most of them.
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Joanna Junak: And what products are available on the market in Greece?
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Eleni Diamantopoulou: Well, in Greece we have available in the Greek market e-cigarettes through vape shops and heated tobacco products also through shops. It's a big market in Greece, but vaping is not permitted to the youth under the age of 18 years old.
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Joanna Junak: Okay, thank you so much. Thank you.