World No Tobacco Day 2019

World No Tobacco Day 2019

Prevention is not enough: in Italy, smoking affects one out of two men and one out of three women. According to research promoted by the Umberto Veronesi Foundation, increasing the price of cigarettes as an incentive to quit smoking would lead consumers to invest in health and well-being.


A lot of people smoke and they smoke too much. Smoking in Italy is a phenomenon that is far from declining : almost one in 2 men (42% of Italians) and about one in three women (35% of Italians) light up their cigarettes daily. 

Faced with a rapidly growing vice, which becomes pathological addiction for at least 27% of smokers , it is clear that speaking of prevention through awareness raising is not enough today.

The monthly per capita expenditure on tobacco exceeds 100 euros per month : a figure that is lost in the expense accounts at the end of the month and of which the smoker himself is often unaware. 

But if the cost of a pack of cigarettes were doubled, would the smoking habit among Italians decrease? It would seem so according to the results of a research promoted by the Umberto Veronesi Foundation  and conducted by AstraRicerche on the occasion of the World No Tobacco Day 2019 . 

Raising the price of cigarettes as a disincentive

The research investigated the implications of an increase in the cost of the package to the consumer . 

” Increasing the excise duty by one euro per package – explains Silvano Gallus, head of the Laboratory of Epidemiology of Lifestyles of the Mario Negri Irccs Institute in Milan – would lead to the sale of over 360 million fewer packages per year but still state coffers over 2 billion euros, favoring public finance in preventive and curative actions. The effectiveness of a similar measure, moreover, would be greater among young people and among the less well-off economic classes “.  

46% of Italians are in favor of this proposal and the percentage would increase to 57% if a clear plan of funding were foreseen for anti-smoking campaigns and the treatment of smoking-related diseases . “This vice is not only the cause of chronic tumors and bronchitis – comments Sergio Harari, director of the Pulmonary Unit of the San Giuseppe Hospital in Milan -. In Italy over 30 thousand people suffer from rare diseases such as idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis or respiratory bronchiolitis . In these cases, quitting smoking should be the first form of therapy. “

In Italy it is not easy to ask for help if you want to quit smoking: the anti-smoking centers in the country are still few and poorly distributed : there are 366 managed mainly by local Asl (307), by Lilt (56) and by private companies (3 ); they are found above all in the north (mostly in Lombardy and Piedmont) and do not often find the right place in the collaboration network between institutions to respond promptly to the question. 

Coping with tobacco addiction

The first cigarette of the morning is the one that is hardly given up; even when you are sick it is difficult to abstain: nicotine (also present in some foods)  has an action that creates a really powerful addiction and does not concern only the most hardened smokers, even the so-called moderate smokers (those who do not exceed 5 cigarettes per day) stated that they would really struggle to stop this habit. 

Even those who think of making softer alternative choices are not saved : “Most consumers think that electronic cigarettes and new heated tobacco devices are less harmful to health – specifies Roberto Boffi, head of the pulmonology unit of the National Institute of tumors of Milan – but there is the risk of a massive spread especially among the very young and also among non-smokers: the possible lower toxicity of the substances present in these products, however, has not been demonstrated in the laboratory by independent studies “.


This is also why economic leverage is important . What could be done with the money saved for quitting smoking? Love yourself more. 


Faced with an average annual savings that fluctuate between 700 and 1,200 euros, the interviewees said for the most part that they would use the money in an alternative expense linked to their well -being by planning a much-desired trip.


A nice suggestion to put out the last cigarette and go and book your next vacation

You May Also Like

More From Author

+ There are no comments

Add yours