Now that smoking has been banned from restaurants and bars, Italy has become one of the most radical of the European Union countries, in terms of no smoking. Only Italy and Ireland do not allow smoking in all public places; the work place; public institutions such as ministries, hospitals, schools; places of entertainment such as cinemas and theatres, bars and restaurants and on public transport.

According to information from the Federazione Italiana Pubblici Esercizi, which has opposed the law against smoking in Italys bars and restaurants on the grounds that it is bad for business, expensive and difficult to apply, other European Union countries are far behind Italy. A FIPE survey points out that in Spain, France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany smoking is banned only in the work place. The most permissive country in the EU is the United Kingdom, where the government has not yet imposed any laws, preferring a voluntary rather than a legal approach.