September 22, 2010

Daily life : Numero Sei : Smoking

I remember back in 1998 when I was studying in Cortona, Italy all the small restaurants, bars, cafes were filled with people smoking. One time I even saw a pregnant woman sipping on a caffe while smoking! Some things have changed here in Italy, like you cannot smoke inside of restaurants, cafes, bars, clubs. It sure is welcomed, comunque (however), I am not sure it has cut down on the amount that people smoke. I am astonished everyday riding past Italian middle school and high school students who stand out on the street and smoke, dozens of them! How do their parents not know what they are doing when they come home smelling like an ashtray? Or is it acceptable? 


Men still gather in the piazzas & smoke cigarettes, while the women in their stilettos window shop while puffing a ciggy. Do the Italians still think smoking is glamorous? I will not lie, I like a drag of a cigarette if I am drinking wine and having a dolce (dessert), but I am amazed at how accepted smoking is here. So I'll admit to being a hypocrite in this instance.....


The law also says that you can still smoke on patios...How irritating is that? One day at brunch with my girlfriends, we were all coughing because 4 guys next to us where all chain smoking. Then, I was parking my bike at the gym, and two personal trainers were outside the front of the gym smoking! Who would ever pay them money to help with your health! 


I am curious to know if the Italians really understand the effects that smoking causes, or if they choose to ignore it. I think its fantastic that smoking in the United States is uncool and unacceptable now.....Arrivederci to the 1950's where smoking was deemed cool (ahem, Mad Men). Maybe the media did its job with promoting how terrible cancer is, or maybe we have all lost loved ones due to cancer. I never hear anyone here speak the word of cancer, ever. Italy has one of the highest rates of lung cancer in the whole world, closely following the Netherlands. How can this not be a problem? 


Points for America for making it uncool to smoke. Maybe one day Italy will catch up.

3 comments:

Ian said...

Correct

LindyLouMac said...

Hi from another ex-pat blogger in Italy! I found you via Passage to Italy:)

You are so right about the excessive amount of smokers in Italy, at least they seem to have accepted the no smoking inside restaurants policy happily.

Maggie said...

Just saw this one and have to say: SO TRUE!!! The smoking thing is one of the VERY few things that I don't miss about being in Florence. Thank goodness there's no smoking in restaurants but when you're walking down narrow little streets past dozens of people smoking, you might as well be inside! Blecccchhhhhh.

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