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World No-Tobacco Day: smokers in Italy increase

There are 800,000 more smokers in Italy than in 2019. 

Never have there been so many since 2006. Almost one in four Italians smoke, 24.2 percent of the population. 

The data from the Higher Institute of Health released their report for World No- Tobacco Day.

"The increase in smokers detected by the report is a signal that raises concern and with respect to which it is important to activate prevention actions starting from the youngest in order to ensure a longer life, with fewer disabilities and qualitatively better for us and for those who live next to us," explained Silvio Brusaferro, president of the Italian National Institute of Health.

Since the last survey year before the pandemic, there has been an increase of two percentage points: from 22% to 24%. 

The number of people smoking heated-tobacco (electronic) cigarettes has also increased: from 1.1% in 2019 to 3.3% in 2022. 36.6% consider them less harmful than traditional cigarettes.

There are 12.4 million smokers in Italy who average 11.5 cigarettes smoked per day. 

20.4% of smokers light more than 20 a day. 1.2 million Italians use electronic cigarettes more or less habitually, that's 2.4% of the population. 81.9% of e-cigarette users are smokers. Former smokers make up only 14.9% of the population, and 60.9% are non-smokers.

The theme proposed by the World Health Organization for World No- Tobacco Day is the impact of tobacco on the planet: cultivation, production, distribution and waste. 

Initiatives go toward many beaches that do not want butts. The best known case is Barcelona, but there are many examples in Italy as well.

Roberta Pacifici, head of the National Center for Addiction at the Italian National Institute of Health explained how "the pandemic has significantly influenced the tobacco and nicotine product consumption habits of Italians." 

New tobacco products and electronic cigarettes have added to the consumption of traditional cigarettes, and their users are almost exclusively dual users.

The very new products, which are considered less harmful, also lead to violations of laws such as those that had excluded smoking from public places. 

Those who smoke electronic and heated-tobacco cigarettes feel free to use them on means of transportation and inside premises. 

In 2019, 62.6 percent of e-cigarette smokers felt free to smoke in public places, and today 66.8 percent.

According to data from MOHRE, the Mediterranean Observatory for Harm Reduction in Medicine, at least 880 thousand people in Italy and about 7 million in Europe have died from cigarette smoking in the past 10 years.

Photo credit: Gennaro Leonardi Photos /

Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia
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