To the Editor.
—For decades, there has been a widespread social acceptance of cigarette smoking in Italy. The Ministry of Health (or any other governmental body) did not make or support any serious campaign to inform the public about the risks and damages of smoking, even when these were clear on a scientific level and most other Western countries took measures to control smoking.1 Thus, any manufacturer operating in the Italian market was allowed to sell cigarettes without information or warning labels,2 and the Italian Parliament imposed some warning only in 1991—more than two decades after the United States, Canada, and most other Western countries.3Mr Mario Stalteri was a pack-a-day smoker for 40 years, mostly of cigarettes produced by the state-owned manufacturer. In 1991, he died of lung cancer at 64 years of age, 4 years after stopping smoking.Following US developments in the topic of
Stalteri M, Vecchia CL. The AMA, Tobacco, and the Public Health. JAMA. 1996;275(4):278. doi:10.1001/jama.1996.03530280028024