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J Public Health Policy. 2010 Apr;31(1):51-8. doi: 10.1057/jphp.2009.43.

Smoking habits in Italian pregnant women: any changes after the ban?

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Department of Public Health and Microbiology, University of Turin, Via Santena, 5 bis, 10126, Torino, Italy.


A reduction in the prevalence of smoking and tobacco consumption was noted after the enactment in 2005 of new smoking regulations in Italy. To determine the impact of the smoking ban on pregnant women, we compared the results of two retrospective studies on two samples of 300 women, who recently delivered, conducted before and after the regulations went into effect. The comparison showed a marked drop in passive exposure to smoke in the workplace but not in the family environment; however, passive exposure and smoking were associated before and during pregnancy. Nearly all women agreed that the ban on smoking in public was reasonable and stated it had influenced their smoking habit or exposure. Despite this lip service, both studies highlighted that smoking in pregnancy remains a problem for many women, as about 10 per cent did not quit and over 50 per cent relapsed after delivery.

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