Italy was the first country in the EU to pass a law in favour of a smoking ban in indoor public spaces and now Milan is the first Italian city to introduce such an extensive outdoor ban.

Municipal Councillor Marco Granelli says the ban’s aim is to help reduce dangerous fine particles in the air known as PM10, which in the city are currently well over the European limit, with the intention of safeguarding citizens’ health.

“During this pandemic, we’ve seen that our health is fragile and our lungs are attacked by this virus. Milan can’t not do this,” he said. He added that the pandemic has highlighted the need for the public’s respiratory system to be as healthy as possible.

Italy is witnessing the worst outbreak of COVID-19, forcing the local government to set in place some of the most stringent measures across the world. All public gatherings have been banned, while schools and most commercial businesses, including bars and restaurants, have been shut down.

How about vape shops?

Originally, vape shops were included in the list of outlets to be shut down, however award winning Dr. Riccardo Polosa explained why it would be ridiculous to keep tobacconists open whilst closing outlets that sell safer alternatives. “I got a little bit cross. And the next morning I launched a number of declarative statements,” said Polosa.

Founder of the Center of Excellence for the Acceleration of Harm Reduction (CoEHAR) in Catania Italy, Polosa has published dozens of studies on topics related to vaping. In an interview on Filter, he had explained why he thought it was wrong to keep tobacconists open whilst closing vape shops.

The professor highlighted that in this particular situation of high anxiety and stress, people will smoke a lot more at home where they are confined hence exposing not only themselves, but also their families to the risks of tobacco smoke, particularly their kids. Additionally, said the professor, there are thousands of vapers who are former smokers across the country. In the event that vaping products are no longer available for purchase, it is very highly likely that these would resort back to smoking.

Read Further: BBC

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