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

Eur J Public Health. 2012 Oct;22(5):707-12. doi: 10.1093/eurpub/ckr156. Epub 2011 Nov 23.


Background: 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.

Methods: 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.

Results: 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.

Conclusions: 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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Aged
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Environmental Exposure / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Government Regulation*
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Italy / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Prevalence
  • Self Report
  • Smoking / epidemiology
  • Smoking / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution / prevention & control
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution / statistics & numerical data*
  • Workplace / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Young Adult


  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution