Rome

More than 10 million Italians are smokers, few able to quit

Majority want to see smoking ban in stadiums and parks

More than 10 million Italians are smokers, few able to quit

Rome, May 31 - Fully 10.6 million Italians are smokers and while about 13.4% say they began before they were 15, the average age of starting the habit is 17, says a survey released Friday. The Doxa research, conducted for Italy's National Institute of Health, found that 12.2% of smokers say they would like to kick the habit in the next six months. The report comes on World No Tobacco Day (WNTD) which is observed on May 31 and was established by the World Health Organization. The Italian survey also found about 92% of smokers who have tried to quit, say they failed. Packaged cigarettes also remain the most popular choice although younger smokers are moving towards cheaper tobacco they can roll themselves. Meanwhile, almost two-thirds of Italians surveyed said they favour expanding bans on smoking in sports stadiums. The Doxa survey found that of the 60% in favour of expanding smoking bans, only half of those were smokers. But almost 80% said smoking should be banned in the courtyards of schools and hospitals. The survey found about 64% said smoking bans should be extended to stadiums and bus stops, and about 60% favoured such a ban in public gardens. Among smokers, the support for bans drops to about 36% and 33% respectively. It also found about 40% of families refuse to let smokers under age 25 smoke in the house.

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