Italy is one of the countries in the world with the highest number of smokers, with the most smokers being adolescents aged 14 to 16 years old. In recent years, Italy has made some progress in the problem with smoking. However, people continue to die and needlessly get sick demanding the society with mounting costs from tobacco use.
Italy and Smoking
The relationship of Italy with tobacco use can be deemed as a love affair that has started since the cigarette century. Since then, smoking is not only a habit but a part of the country’s culture. It is deeply ingrained in the lives of Italians that over 20% of the people are smokers – adults, teenagers, even those in the health sector.
Italian doctors smoke so much their numbers are twice the rate of the overall population, according to a 2011 study. The problem of smoking in Italy is serious. It is real and worrying that the government has taken several measures in an attempt to counteract the issue of the increasing number of smokers. Despite the warnings on the cigarette packets in the country, smoking increases to an alarming rate.
Many of today’s smokers in Italy are teenagers. Even when the government created new laws to prevent kids under the age of 18 from buying cigarettes, these laws are usually broken. The reason is that most of these underage kids get their cigarettes from their parents who are also smokers. Most cases of teenager smokers do it because someone in the family does.
Doctors Are the Worst
Teenage smokers are a problem, but the worst are those in the health profession. They are known to smoke twice the rate of other smokers in Italy, and they are supposed to advocate that smoking is dangerous to health. Often you will see doctors and nurses smoking within the hospital grounds. Even medical students pick up the habit citing that the reason is the high-stress levels of their course.
Current Smoking Solutions in Italy
Italy has made many solutions to the problem of smoking in the country, including forbidding smoking inside public spaces such as restaurants and cinemas. But still this is not enough, and many Italian smokers continue to throw caution into the wind. According to the Italian Minister of Health, the focus must be on the youth, but at the same time, the policies against smoking must be strengthened.
Bibione Beach – Italy’s First Smoke-Free Beach
With regards to the smoking ban in Italy, a new milestone is set with the official ban of smoking on Bibione Beach. It is now the country’s first-ever smoke-free beach where locals and tourists alike can enjoy breathing the sea air without the mix of tobacco smokes. Before, the smoking ban was only at the shoreline as well as the first row of sun umbrellas on the beach.
But this summer, the entire beach is now free from tobacco smoke. It was not only air pollution that the ban was intended to as there were also many cigarette butts collected from the beach from 2014 to 2018. The smokers can still smoke though as there will be designated smoking areas made available for them.