There are over 11 million smokers in Italy. According to the OSSFAD of the ISS National Center for Dependency and Doping, that means over 22% the population in Italy lights up regularly.
World No Tobacco Day—which started in 1987 and is intended to encourage a 24-hour period of abstinence from all forms of tobacco consumption—occurs annually worldwide on May 31 and has been met with both enthusiasm and resistance around the globe from governments, public health organizations, smokers, growers, and the tobacco industry.
This year, in Italy, the Veronesi Foundation launched several initiatives for World No Tobacco Day including the return of the giant cigarette installation in the Piazza della Scala in Milan, an exhibition on the damage caused by smoking, interactive workshops in secondary schools across Milan, and free lung health checks. All the activities of the campaign drive greater awareness of the services available to stop smoking and to educate citizens to protect their health.
But Is It Enough?
Unfortunately, the prevalence of smokers in Italy remains almost unchanged over the last eight years, beyond small percentages that are not very significant. In fact, we see a slight increase in the prevalence of smokers of both sexes, with a more marked increase in men than women.
Government Support Is Needed for Long-Term Success
While the "No Smoking Be Happy" campaign is attention-grabbing in the moment, it lacks the resources needed to drive long-term results. Specifically, the initiative to reduce smoking in Italy lacks essential support from government institutions. For example, the government could implement policies such as establishing smoke-free public areas similar to policies enforced in New York City, providing financial coverage and support for those who wish to quit smoking, or increasing taxes and cigarette prices, which has been identified by the World Health Organization as the most effective solution to discourage smoking.
When it comes to effective cause marketing campaigns, is government support the ultimate linchpin?
Contributed By: Diego Vallieri, Integer Milan
Image Source: Ilgiorno.IT