Why Compare Tobacco in Italy and the USA?Photo of Cigarettes

Tobacco use is more prevalent in Italy than in the USA. I have noticed this the first time I went to Italy. Not only do more people smoke in Italy, but it is tolerated and few prevention and educational campaigns exist. Italy ranks between other developed countries and Third World countries for its status on tobacco-related issues. The Mediterranean region is well known for its healthful climate and diet; however, this fact about the tobacco situation in Italy is very different to what is occurring now in the USA. Not until 2000 did some legislation get passed prohibiting tobacco use in several public places, however, this law is greatly ignored by citizens and the designated "smoke-busters".
    Factors that could contribute to this situation are:
  • Culture
  • Family
  • Education
  • Politics
  • Climate
  • Religion
  • Traditions and old wives' tales
  • A lack of importance for health/fitness
This report gives the information on the tobacco situation regarding economics, politics and health for each country, which could lead to further research to better understand this phenomenon in Italy and also to understand if other countries may adopt the American attitude towards tobacco.
    Future research ideas are:
  • The use of the American Anti-Tobacco Campaign model in other cultures: would it be more successful than what that country is already doing?
  • Does culture influence why the population smokes? Maybe an anti-tobacco campaign is not the answer?
  • Are media Gatekeepers and Agenda-Setters providing accurate and enough health information in the mass media in other cultures compared to the USA?
  • How do American Politics affect the rest of the world concerning communicating health issues/tobacco issues or developing health policies?
  • Why does a modern industrialized country (Italy) rank between other industrialized countries, the USA for example, and developing countries regarding the tobacco culture? Could it be related to Italian politics and the government's monopoly on tobacco?
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