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A Journal on Internal Medicine

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Minerva Medica 2007 April;98(2):155-7

language: English

Italy: the first European country to forbid smoking in closed spaces. First results

Laurendi G., Galeone D., Spizzichino L., Vasselli S., D’Argenio P.

Italian Health Ministry Prevention Department, Rome, Italy


Second-hand smoke is a well-known risk factor for several diseases, including lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma. Evidence exists that smoke-free policies have an effect on reducing or eliminating the exposure to second-hand smoke, decreasing the prevalence of smokers, encouraging smokers to quit or preventing the initiation of smoking, and reducing cigarettes consumption among smokers. Italy has been the first European country to forbid smoking in closed places, also in working areas not open to the public, as protection to the health of the entire population. This article describes the first results obtained from the application of this new law, the positive effects and unexpected modifications in the behaviour and social habits of the Italian people, thus, revealing itself an important instrument to protect public health.

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