Smoking behaviour and individual well-being: a fresh look at the effects of the 2005 public smoking ban in Italy

Publication type

Journal Article


Publication date

July 15, 2018


This paper investigates the impact of the public smoking ban which came into effect in Italy in January 2005 on individual smoking behaviour. Current empirical evidence supports the existence of a negative effect of the Italian ban on smoking prevalence and consumption in the general population. Our analysis shows that the apparent success of the ban is due to the fact that existing results do not take into account seasonal differences in smoking behaviour. Using quarterly data from the 1999/2000 and 2004/2005 Italian Health Surveys and adopting a difference-in-difference approach that nets out monthly variation in smoking rates, we show that the Italian smoking ban had no impact on smoking behaviour for the population as a whole but only on some subgroups. This result notwithstanding, we find that the smoking ban increased the overall well-being of non-smokers.

Published in

Oxford Economic Papers

Volume and page numbers

Volume: 70 , p.741 -762





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