Ten years of anti-smoking programs in Italy: a review

Am J Health Promot. 1995 Jan-Feb;9(3):190-200. doi: 10.4278/0890-1171-9.3.190.


A diverse anti-smoking program for the prevention of cancer and cardiovascular diseases has been ongoing in Italy since 1981, coordinated by the National Cancer Institute of Genoa and the Italian League Against Cancer of Genoa. The program includes several initiatives addressed to different target groups; schoolchildren and teachers, military personnel, doctors and nurses, and women. A preliminary inquiry on the attitudes and habits towards smoking was implemented by the distribution of questionnaires to the various groups involved in the program. An annual school-based anti-smoking program involves about 10,000 students aged four to 18 and their teachers. Meetings are delivered by experts to groups of 20 to 40 students with the aid of specific audiovisual material, which are periodically updated. Additional informative material, leaflets, and posters are distributed to both schoolchildren and teachers. Another educational program on primary prevention of smoking-related health hazards is addressed to military recruits, career soldiers, and medical officers. It consists of several initiatives: training of military doctors and nurses, lectures to military recruits, and distribution of informative material in the barracks. An annual meeting is organized to discuss program implementation and results. Surveys are carried out by distributing an anonymous questionnaire to health professionals in several Italian hospitals to assess the smoking habits of doctors and their attitudes and practices towards counseling patients against smoking. The results show marked differences in smoking habits in the cities under study. Annually since 1983, an updated course is organized and addressed to teachers of primary and secondary schools in Genoa. The aim of the course is to train school personnel and to help them to implement prevention programs in the schools, with the aid of experts in the field of prevention. A series of initiatives are addressed to women at different ages to sensitize them not only to the more common tobacco risks but also those regarding pregnancy, oral contraception, and so on. The survey was conducted on a representative sample of 12- to 65-year-old female population groups. It is the first of this kind in Italy to ascertain trends in smoking behavior among Italian women in relation to age, educational achievement, and occupation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Female
  • Health Personnel
  • Health Promotion*
  • Humans
  • Italy / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Military Personnel
  • Program Evaluation
  • Smoking / epidemiology
  • Smoking / trends
  • Smoking Cessation / statistics & numerical data*
  • Smoking Prevention*
  • Teaching
  • Women