Tobacco sales to minors in Italy

Silvano Gallus, Irene Tramacere, Piergiorgio Zuccaro, Paolo Colombo, Carlo La Vecchia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aims and background. One of the strategies to control tobacco is to limit purchase of cigarettes to minors. To understand the attitudes of Italian adults towards regulations to prevent minors from purchasing tobacco products, we added specific questions to the annual survey on smoking in Italy. Methods. During March-April 2007, we conducted a survey on smoking on 3,057 subjects representative of the Italian population aged ≥15 years. Two specific questions were included, one investigating the attitudes towards the proposed legislation prohibiting purchase of tobacco to individuals under 18 years of age (instead of 16 years) as a policy to reduce smoking prevalence and consumption. The second question asked whether the current tobacco sales-to-minors law was observed. Results. Overall, 78% of Italians believed that a restriction of the current tobacco sales-to-minors law could be moderately to extremely effective as a strategy to decrease smoking prevalence and consumption. More than 90% of Italians reported that they had never seen in their lifetime a retailer refusing to sell cigarettes to an adolescent or requesting the minor's identification or age. Conclusions. A restriction of the legislation, increasing to 18 years the minimum age for purchasing tobacco, would limit access to tobacco products by minors, only if adopted together with systematic and effective enforcement measures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)283-285
Number of pages3
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 2009


  • Italy
  • Minors
  • Population survey
  • Tobacco smoking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology

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