News Smoking Bans
posted by October 29 at 9:18 AMon
From today’s NYT:
On Jan. 10, 2005, Italy enacted a law that banned smoking in public places like offices, restaurants, cafes and bars. Smokers declared—basta!—they would never comply. Restaurateurs were certain business would flag. And politicians worried that an essential pleasure of Italy would be lost.
Nearly two years later, this is what has transpired, according to studies following the fallout from the law: People in Italy smoke a lot less and are exposed to far less secondhand smoke
In fact, the law has become very popular, with support for smoking bans increasing yearly among nonsmokers and smokers alike. Business in bars is up. A study in Turin found that the number of people brought to hospital emergency rooms after suffering heart attacks decreased after the ban (secondhand smoke could be a trigger), a finding that echoes studies in the United States.
In Italy—where laws are often enforced with a large degree of latitude and where red lights are ignored if they are deemed inconvenient—there is nearly 100 percent compliance with the antismoking statutes.
And yet in Seattle the whining goes on and on. Italy has banned smoking in bars, as have Scotland, Ireland, and now France. Smoking in public places is on its way out all over the world.