The new no-smoking law will now come into effect in Italy on 10 Jan 2005,

after the holiday period. It was due to come into force just before the new year festivities but the minister for health has allowed an extra 12 days of grace. This follows complaints from restaurateurs who fear that they will loose business over the holiday period. The law bans lighting up in all buildings that are open to the public, except for spaces that are expressly reserved for smokers.

No-smoking signs must be put up in all public places and special notices are required to indicate designated smoking areas. Lighting up will only be permitted in separate rooms in restaurants and bars if they are equipped with approved ventilation

systems. If no separate room is available then smoking is not allowed anywhere in the establishment.