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Eur J Public Health. 2012 Oct;22(5):707-12. Epub 2011 Nov 23.

Exposure to secondhand smoke in Italian non-smokers 5 years after the Italian smoking ban.

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Tobacco Control Unit, Institut Català d'Oncologia-IDIBELL, L'Hospitalet de Llobregat, Department of Clinical Sciences, School of Medicine, Universitat de Barcelona, 08908 Barcelona, Spain.



No data on secondhand smoke (SHS) exposure are available on a national level in Italy. To assess the prevalence of exposure to SHS in indoor public places, home and cars in non-smoking Italian population, we conducted a survey 5 years after the national smoking ban.


In 2010, we conducted a survey on a representative sample of the Italian population aged≥15 years. Analyses were conducted on 2365 non-smokers. Current (during the previous week) self-reported exposure to SHS was assessed in public places, at home and in private cars.


The prevalence of SHS exposure in any setting (excluding workplaces) was 31.2%. SHS exposure was 10.2% in public places, 15.6% at home and 17.9% in cars. The corresponding estimates among the young (15-24 years) were 54.2% in any setting, 21.4% in public places, 27.1% at home and 32.9% in cars. By multivariate analysis, males, the young, subjects from southern Italy and former smokers were more frequently exposed in any setting.


The Italian smoking ban substantially decreased SHS exposure. However, specific subpopulations, including the young, are still frequently exposed both in public and private places. We observed a relatively high SHS exposure in private vehicles. Thus, further control to improve compliance with the smoking ban and an extension of the smoke-free legislation to motor vehicles are needed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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