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This coming Tuesday don’t be an April fool > March 30, 2008

Posted by grhomeboy in Health & Fitness.
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30-03-08_anti-smoking.jpg  > stop smoking > “Cigarette? No Thanks!” is the title of this anti-smoking CD-ROM for teenagers that will be presented at the Grande Bretagne Hotel on Tuesday.

This April 1, when according to custom we can make April fools of each other, is dedicated to spreading the message that smoking is harmful to one’s health and that these effects begin at an early age – even primary school children are now smoking.

According to the Thorax Foundation, founded by Professor Haralambos Roussos, 90 percent of smokers took up the habit in their early teenage years or even in their childhood, so the problem is one of education, both at school and in the home environment. It’s easier to prevent than cure, it seems, seeing how hard it is for adults to stop smoking.

This Tuesday the foundation is holding an event at the Hotel Grande Bretagne to launch its campaign “Close to Children and Teenagers” and to honor its sponsors for health, education and research. The main aim of the program is to talk to young people in their own language, to get across the message that smoking is not in, but definitely out, that it is not an indication of manhood or sophistication.

“Let’s talk to kids in their own language so that they will listen and understand the problem before it is too late,” said Roussos, who will be giving an address at the event. Afterward will follow a presentation of the CD-ROM “Cigarette? No Thanks!” by schoolgirl Theodora Francis and an address by children’s psychologist Katerina Laskaridou on an interdisciplinary center for the prevention of smoking as well as health education for children and teenagers.

The CD-ROM was sponsored by the Bodosakis Foundation with the cooperation of Athens University, the Evangelismos, Sotiria, Sismanogleio, Eugenideio, Attikon and Attica Children’s Psychiatric hospitals as well as Greek Radio and TV (ERT). The music group Imiskoubria sing on the CD-ROM. The event will be attended by President Karolos Papoulias and Health Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos.


Illegal drug trade flourishing in Greece March 28, 2008

Posted by grhomeboy in Health & Fitness, Police & Crime.
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The illegal drug trade is flourishing in Greece, thanks to a “pyramid” system of dealers and middlemen that is perpetuated and protected by a network of friends and associates, a new study has shown.

One of the most shocking findings of the study – a collaboration between drug addicts, support organization staff, policemen, lawyers and journalists – is that the average dealers are family men. Most of these dealers push about 1 to 2 kilos at a time to mediators who then sell smaller quantities to users. The study also found that the average middlemen are foreigners with low incomes.

The most fertile ground for drug-dealing networks are industrial areas with ample storage and logistics facilities, it was revealed. As for the trade in drugs, busy urban areas are the most promising for would-be dealers. In Athens, central Omonia Square is like a “department store” for drugs, with different groups of pushers offering various narcotics at different times of day, the study said. Many Athens nightclubs also tolerate the illegal drug trade on their premises, the study found. According to Sofia Vidali, a criminology professor who led the study, drug dealing is not only flourishing in clubs but also in schools and offices in certain neighborhoods where dealers have a heightened presence.

As for prevention, police efforts have not been particularly effective, according to the study, which noted that only 10 to 20 percent of drugs circulating on the market actually fall into police hands. According to Nikos Paraskevopoulos, a lecturer on criminal law at Thessaloniki’s Aristotle University, new legislation is not needed. It would be enough if existing legislation was enforced, he said.

Greek children suffering as parents puff away March 21, 2008

Posted by grhomeboy in Health & Fitness.
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The health of nearly seven out of 10 children living in Athens is being put at risk by their parents’ smoking habit, according to the results of a medical study made public yesterday.

Of some 2,133 children with breathing problems examined over the past 10 years by experts at the Elpis Hospital’s pediatric unit, around 65 percent were found to have been exposed to smoke by one or both of their parents.

Doctors also found that parents living in Athens have been smoking more, rather than less, following the imposition of smoking restrictions in public places in August 2002. Some 65 percent smoke, compared to 55 percent before the introduction of the new regulations.

Medics said the government’s anti-smoking policy was a “failure” and called for harsher penalties for those violating anti-smoking restrictions.

Greek teenagers are risking their sex lives March 15, 2008

Posted by grhomeboy in Health & Fitness, Lifestyle.
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Greek teenagers are having sex at as young as 12 years old but more than half are not using proper methods of contraception, according to figures made public yesterday.

A survey presented at the Family Planning Conference being held in Thessaloniki indicated that the percentage of teenagers who are sexually active had increased from 30 percent in 2003 to 40 percent in 2007.

Almost seven in 10 teenagers have sex for the first time when they are aged between 16 and 18, but roughly one in 10 lose their virginity between the ages of 12 and 14.

A quarter of teenagers use inadequate contraception methods, while another 27 percent use no type of protection at all when having sex, according to the survey.

Free cancer tests for citizens March 14, 2008

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All citizens of Attica [the Athens greater area] aged between 55 and 70 can this month take advantage of a state-backed drive offering free tests for cancer of the large intestine.

The disease affects one in 16 men and one in 20 women but its incidence can be reduced by healthy eating, exercise and curbing smoking, experts say. The free tests are being offered at Vioiatriki diagnostic centers to those who show their police identity cards.

Those who are interested in having a test can telephone 210 6984482 to make an appointment.

Me? Not me! I’m not fat! March 12, 2008

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Drive to slim down expanding waistlines

More than half of Greek children are overweight, according to figures released yesterday by the Ministry of Health, which said it was launching a campaign to stem the growing number of fat youngsters in the country.

The Ministry’s statistics show that 54 percent of children between the ages of 6 and 11 are overweight, while the figure drops slightly to 40 percent for those between the ages of 12 and 17. The consumption of fast food has soared by almost 1,000 percent since 2000 as the vast majority of children do not eat dinner under the watchful eyes of their parents.

The Ministry will launch a marketing campaign, including television advertisements, that will also involve high-profile athletes visiting schools, to encourage youngsters to adopt a healthier lifestyle involving more exercise.

Greece’s Hygeia buys Cyprus’ Evangelismos February 13, 2008

Posted by grhomeboy in Business & Economy, Health & Fitness.
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Greek medical center Hygeia said yesterday it agreed to fully acquire Evangelismos maternity clinic in Cyprus for 7.58 million euros ($11.01 million), as part of its expansion strategy.

The clinic owns 60 percent of private, 71-bed Evangelismos hospital in Paphos, built in 2003. The deal will be finalized after the completion of due diligence and the approval of the island’s competition commission.