Tobacco sales in Italy in 2006 registered an increase of 1.1 per cent over 2005, which translates into about one million kilos. The figures are contained in the Tobacco Observatory, a publication issued three times a year by BAT (Britsh American Tobacco). This inversion of trend comes after a period of three years (2003-2005) of declining sales, starting with the introduction by the then minister of health, Girolamo Sirchia, of the laws banning smoking in all public places, which led to a decrease in annual consumption of about ten million kilos.