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Home \Legislation by Country \Italy \  Summary
Last updated: October 28th 2015


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. Public transportation is smoke free.

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, one of two primary text-only health warnings must occupy 30 percent of the front of tobacco product packages, and one of 14 secondary text-only health warnings must occupy 40 percent of the back of the package. The warnings must be rotated so that they appear with equal regularity. For smokeless tobacco products, one text-only warning is authorized and must occupy 30 percent of the most visible display area. Misleading packaging and labeling, including terms such as “light” and “low tar” and other signs, is prohibited.

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, 2001amends the fines for smokers and business owners who violate of smoke free provisions. Law No. 584 was partially replaced by Law No. 3 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, 2013amends 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. 184 of June 24, 2003 implements EU Directive 2001/37/ECand regulates the packaging and labeling of tobacco products. It provides, among other things, the content and format for health warnings and messages. Decree of October 25, 2012 implements EU Directive 2012/9/EU by replacing the eight secondary health warnings set out in Legislative Decree No. 184 with 14 new secondary health warnings.

Law No. 165 of April 10, 1962 (as amended through February 19, 2003) broadly bans advertising of tobacco products. Ministerial Decree No. 425 November 30, 1991implements 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.

Review Status

This country’s legal measures were reviewed by our legal staff in consultation with in-country lawyers or tobacco control experts.

The materials and analysis available at this website are for informational and educational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice.