Italy's tough anti-smoking laws are an embarrassing reminder of Western Australia's ineffective new regulations

Italy's tough anti-smoking laws are an embarrassing reminder of WA's ineffective new regulations, the AMA(WA) said yesterday.

"For a country that has a large population of heavy smokers, the Italian Government has shown real courage in the fight against passive smoking," said association President Dr Paul Skerritt.

"Starting this week, the country has banned smoking in just about all places except in private homes, the open air and designated smoking rooms - and there are heavy fines for those who defy the law.

"Tragically, it will be at least another 18 months - and about 30 more deaths - before WA has similar laws.

"In the meanwhile, the best WA can do is suggest smokers stand one metre away from bar staff, as if by some magical means the drifting smoke will stay clear of the no-go zone."

Dr Skerritt said Italy had joined a growing list of countries prepared to put the health of its citizens ahead of the interests of the tobacco and liquor industries.

"New Zealand, Ireland, Norway - and even major cities like New York - have already introduced tough smoking bans while WA continues to put the interests of the Australian Hotels Association first," he said.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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