Smokefree legislation/initiatives

Smokefree legislation came into effect in Italy on 10 January 2005 and bans smoking in all indoor public places and workplaces, including public transport and bars and restaurant. DSRs must be completely enclosed and ventilated, with an automatically closing door. Non-smokers must not be obliged to pass through the smoking room. DSRs must take up no more than 50% of the total area of the restaurant, bar or club. There were proposals to better define some aspects of the legislation, but this has not yet happened.

Legislation – 2003 smokefree law (Italian)

Preparation for smokefree legislation

The campaign for smokefree legislation was lengthy and labour-intensive. In 2001 a national coalition for tobacco control was founded that brought together governmental and non-governmental organisations, and scientific associations and individuals, to lobby for smokefree policies. The coalition helped to give rise to an inter-regional group on tobacco control which supports the Ministry of Health in developing tobacco control strategies. The National Health Plan 1998-2000, under Health Minister Rosy Bindi, put smoking reduction among the healthy lifestyle objectives for the first time.

The first bill proposing a ban on smoking in public places failed as it was judged to be too moralistic. When Girolamo Sirchia became Health Minister in 2001, he decided to try again to introduce a smoking ban in all public places, including restaurants, bars, and pubs. He introduced a new concept: legislation to protect people from secondhand smoke, rather than ban smoking. He tightened the existing smokefree laws and invited other associations to join his campaign, including the police. Threats from the hospitality industry not to enforce the law did not gain momentum. The legislation was passed in January 2003, before legislation in Ireland and Norway, but was not implemented for further two years. Part of the delay was due to the law allowing for designated smoking rooms (DRSs), and it took time to define a smoking room and to decide on the penalties for non-compliance with the law. Restaurant, bar and club owners were also given one year to make changes need in order to comply. During this time the coalition and inter-regional group played an active role in supporting the Ministry to better define the law.

For more information on the campaign visit The Global Smokefree Partnership at

Enforcement and compliance

Research carried out since the introduction of the ban found it to be highly popular and continuing to rise. Environmental air quality has improved dramatically and smoking prevalence has fallen (Annals of Oncology 2007;18:1620-1622).

Smokefree resources available in 2009

Smokefree Partnership
European Network on Smoking Prevention

First, say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do. Health Service Food and Human Resources: Discount duty free cigarettes

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