The study explores knowledge, attitudes, and behaviour regarding cigarette smoking and related factors in an adult population. A total of 935 parents of children attending the eighth class of ten randomly selected primary schools in Catanzaro (Italy) received a questionnaire consisting of questions on demographic and socioeconomic characteristics, knowledge, behaviour and attitudes about cigarette smoking. Six hundred and sixty-nine parents returned the questionnaire, with a response rate of 71.5%. Knowledge of risk associated to smoking was significantly higher in more educated subjects and in past smokers compared to current. Current and past smokers were respectively 39.6% and 17.2%, and current smokers were younger, not married, less prone to consider smoking as a major risk for their health and more likely to live with other smokers compared to past and never smokers. Females of higher education were more likely to be current smokers, whereas male current smokers were more likely to be less educated compared to past or never smokers. The results strongly recommend the provision of accurate information about the health consequences related to smoking, with a more intensive involvement of health care providers, particularly targeted to women and younger age groups.