a curious Yankee in Europe's court

blog about living in Europe, and Italy

Italians not so smokin’ anymore

Posted on the May 18th, 2010

Nowadays very few of our friends and neighbors here smoke. Still ever once in a while, someone visiting us from the U.S., will notice a smoker and then, as if by rote, comment that “all Italians smoke.”

I’ve learned to murmur, “No, not really,” and leave it to time and the obvious for them eventually to realize that most of the Italians they are encountering are, in fact, not smoking.

Now if I want to do more than murmur, I can cite the new survey results on smoking that came out this week from the Istituto Superiore di Sanità (ISS), an agency of the Italian National Health Service. According to an ANSA.it article today about the ISS report, the percentage of the Italian population (est. 60 million) that smokes is now down to only 21.7 percent.

Of the 11.1 million Italians who still smoke, down from over 13 million a year ago, 5.9 million are men and 5.2 million women.

The new survey finding of 21 percent places Italy on a par with the USA where the percentage of smokers is more or less the same.

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