Last updated: June 14, 2020
Italy became a Party to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control on September 30, 2008.
Smoke Free Places
The law prohibits smoking in most enclosed places, including indoor workplaces and indoor public places. However, the law allows designated smoking rooms if the designated smoking rooms comply with strict technical standards. For catering establishments (restaurants, bars, and nightclubs), smoking must be prohibited in at least half of the area of the establishment. Smoking is prohibited in public transportation, and in private vehicles if a child or a pregnant woman is present.
Tobacco Advertising, Promotion and Sponsorship
There is a ban on direct and indirect tobacco advertising. However, the definition of “tobacco advertising” does not clearly cover all promotional activity and, therefore, some tobacco promotion may be allowed. Although sponsorship by the tobacco industry is not completely prohibited, publicity of the sponsorship is prohibited.
Tobacco Packaging and Labeling
For smoked tobacco products, rotating pictorial health warnings must occupy 65 percent of both the front and back of the package. For smokeless tobacco products, a single text health warning must occupy 30 percent of the front and back of the package. Misleading packaging and labeling, which could include terms such as “light” and “low tar” and other signs, is prohibited.
Cigarette Contents and Disclosures
The law regulates specified contents of cigarettes, including banning characterizing flavors, including menthol; and ingredients that facilitate nicotine uptake, create the impression of health benefits, or are associated with energy and vitality; among others. The law requires that manufacturers and importers disclose to government authorities and the public information on the contents and emissions of their products.
The law prohibits the sale of tobacco products via small packets of cigarettes and waterpipe or rolling tobacco that contains fewer than 30 grams. The law restricts the sale of tobacco via vending machines and the internet. The sale of tobacco products is prohibited to persons under the age of 18.
Roadmap to Tobacco Control Legislation
Law No. 584 of November 11, 1975, was the original piece of legislation regulating smoking in public places in Italy. Law No. 448 of December 28, 2001 amends the fines for smokers and business owners who violate of smoke free provisions. Law No. 584 was partially replaced by Law No. 3 of January 16, 2003. Article 51 of Law No. 3 currently regulates smoking in public places. However, Arts. 3, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, and 11 of Law No. 584 remain in force to extent they are consistent with Law No. 3. The penalty provision in Art. 7 of Law No. 584, as amended, remains in force pursuant to Art. 5 of Law No. 3. Law No. 311 of December 30, 2004 (Article 1.189) increases the penalties set out in Law No. 448 by 10 percent. Prime Ministerial Decree of December 23, 2003, implements Art. 51(2) of Law No. 3, which allows for designated smoking rooms, and sets out the requirements for designated smoking rooms. Law No. 128 of November 8, 2013 amends Art. 51 of Law No. 3 to ban smoking on outdoor premises of educational institutions. It also contains provisions regulating advertising of electronic cigarettes.
Legislative Decree No. 6 of January 12, 2016 implements EU Directive 2014/40/EU and regulates the packaging and labeling of tobacco products. It provides, among other things, the content and format for health warnings and messages.
Law No. 165 of April 10, 1962 (as amended through February 19, 2003) broadly bans advertising of tobacco products. Ministerial Decree No. 425 of November 30, 1991 implements Law No. 165 and specifically bans both direct and indirect forms of advertising, such as “the use of names, trademarks, emblems or other distinctive features of tobacco products or companies.” Legislative Decree No. 300 of December 16, 2004 also implements Law No. 165 and specifically implements EU Directive 2003/33/CE. It specifically prohibits tobacco advertising in print media, radio, and internet, prohibits sponsorship of radio programs, and regulates sponsorship of events.
Similarly, Decree No. 10 of February 15, 2007 implements Law No. 165 and EU Directives 2002/19/CE, 2002/20/CE, 2002/21/CE, and 2002/22/CE regarding audiovisual and broadcasting services. Circular No. 2003/25137 of 5/26/2003 and Circular No. 2003/56933 of 12/24/2003 regulate the use of vending machines to sell tobacco products.
This country’s legal measures were reviewed by our legal staff in consultation with in-country lawyers or tobacco control experts.