A Proposal to Ban Outdoor Smoking is being prepared in Italy
Italy may soon ban smoking outdoors as well, reports "RAI News", "Sky TG 24" and "TG Com 24", quoted by BTA.
The draft legal act, which will contain the ban, is being prepared by the Ministry of Health. The ban will affect not only ordinary but also electronic cigarettes and so-called heated tobacco products.
The ban will apply to smoking at public transport stops, i.e. tram stops, buses, underground subway, water transport, train stations. Smoking will also be banned in the parks. As for establishments, the ban will also apply to outdoor tables, unless they designate special smoking areas.
According to the measure, smoking areas at airports will also be closed.
For now, the ban plans are at a very early stage and could take up to a year to be approved, during which time the measures may undergo changes.
Fines for those who violate the regulations will amount to 275 euros. If the fine is paid within 60 days, it will be reduced by 50 percent. The same fine will apply to violators of indoor smoking regulations. A report on smoking in Italy by the Higher Institute of Health, presented last year, said that in Italy every fourth Italian smokes (24.2 percent of the population or a total of 12.4 million smokers in Italy).
The data in the report shows that men in the 25-44 age group (43 percent) and women in the 45-64 age group (24.5 percent) smoke the most.
According to the data in the document, former smokers make up 15 percent of the country's population.
The report also shows that on average, 11.5 cigarettes are smoked per day per capita.
Italian Health Minister Orazio Squillaci's proposals to extend the smoking ban have drawn the ire of his cabinet colleagues, Reuters reported.
Junior Culture Minister Vittorio Sgarbi, known for expressing his opinions in colorful ways, called Squillaci's views "threatening" and said such bans would encourage people to smoke.
"This is something typical of an authoritarian and dictatorial communist regime," Sgarbi told AdnKronos news agency.
The government passed a ban on indoor smoking in 2003, which came into effect two years later. The health association Fondazione Umberto Veronesi estimates that at least 43,000 people die in Italy every year from smoking-related causes.
But the proposed restrictions also face skepticism from Deputy Prime Minister and League party leader Matteo Salvini, who quit smoking four years ago. According to him, the ban on e-cigarettes in the open air is excessive.
"E-cigarettes are helping many people quit smoking," he added on Twitter.
The Health Ministry did not respond to a request for comment.
The proposals must be approved by the cabinet before being tabled in parliament.
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