Smoking in Italy in 2015-2016: Prevalence, trends, roll-your-own cigarettes and attitudes towards incoming regulations
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IRCCS Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche Mario Negri, Milan, Italy
Submission date: 2017-04-03
Acceptance date: 2017-04-05
Publication date: 2017-05-25
Corresponding author
Alessandra Lugo   

IRCCS - Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche "Mario Negri", Via G. La Masa, 19, 20156 Milan, Italy
Tob. Prev. Cessation 2017;3(May Supplement):54
In 2016 a series of selective tobacco regulations, which however did not affect tobacco price, came into force in Italy. To understand how Italians accepted the new norms, we analysed data from our two most recent surveys among those we annually conduct on tobacco.

Material and Methods:
In 2015 and 2016 we conducted 2 representative cross-sectional studies focused on the new forthcoming tobacco legislation on a total sample of 6046 Italians aged ≥15 years.

Overall, 21.4% of Italians (26.0% among men and 17.2% among women) were current smokers, showing a small but significant decrease in smoking prevalence since 2007 (p for trend=0.004). No change in smoking prevalence was observed over the last decade among the young (i.e., 15-24; 20.1% in 2015-2016). Roll-your-own (RYO) cigarettes were the most frequent tobacco product for 8.3% of adult smokers and 19.7% of young smokers. According to the attitudes of Italians towards the new regulations, 91.3% supported the smoking ban in cars in presence of minors, 90.2% a more stringent enforcement of the tobacco sales-to-minors regulation, 74.3% the introduction of shocking pictorial images on tobacco packs, and 63.2% the removal from the market of small cigarette packs, usually purchased by the young.

Smoking prevalence only marginally decreased over the last decade among adults, but did not decrease among the young. RYO tobacco is more and more used by adults and young. Before the entrance into force of the new norms, Italians substantially support them, particularly those targeting children.

The surveys were conducted with the contribution of the Italian Ministry of Health. This work was partially funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme (The TackSHS Project; grant agreement: 681040) and by the Italian Ministry of Health (MADES project, chapter 4100/22). The work of SG and AL was partially supported by the Italian League Against Cancer (Milan). The authors declare that there are no conflicts of interest.

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