The aim of this study was to investigate the smoking habits of a sample of second year high school students in Romagna (Northern Italy) by means of an anonymous self-administered questionnaire and the efficiency of a previous health education campaign. A sample of 2,691 16-year-old pupils (74% of the school population of this age) was randomly selected. Of these, 863 (32.1%) had participated in a prevention campaign while attending middle school. 19.1% of the students who had taken part in the campaign were smokers compared to 23.2% of those who had not. The students' smoking habits were found to be influenced by the type of school and by the role models (parents, siblings, friends, teachers). The campaign appears to have had good results, especially in places where it was carried out on a wide scale. Suggestions are made for making such campaigns more efficient.