What happened in Italy? A brief summary of studies conducted in Italy to evaluate the impact of the smoking ban

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The aim of this short report is to give a brief summary of the studies conducted in Italy in order to evaluate the impact of the ban on smoking in enclosed public places that came into force on 10 January 2005. Support of Italians for the smoking ban increased once the policy was introduced, and is still increasing. Surveys conducted among the Italian population and owners of hospitality premises report that the ban is generally respected. After the ban, environmental nicotine concentrations in four pubs and three discos in Florence and concentrations of particulate matter with diameter <2.5 μm in 50 hospitality premises in Milan, Trieste and Rome dropped to 70–97% of the concentrations recorded before the ban. In 2005 total sales of cigarettes in Italy decreased by 6.1% in comparison to 2004, from 98.8 to 92.8 million kg. In 2006 sales increased by 1.1% in comparison to 2005, partly attributed to the covered outdoor smoking places available in many restaurants and bars from the winter of 2005–2006. Smoking prevalence decreased from 2004 to 2006 by 7.3%, from 26.2% to 24.3%.

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