The seaside resort of Bibione in Venice is set to become the first smoke-free beach in Italy this summer. Popular among locals and European tourists from Germany and Austria in particular, Bibione will become the first beach in Italy to ban smoking all along its eight-kilometre coastline. It’s the final phase of Bibione’s “Breathe the sea air” campaign which launched back in 2011, with the aim of cleaning up the environment and the air.
Previously, smoking was banned between the shoreline and the first row of sun umbrellas. The ban will be extended to the whole beach as of this summer.
A 2015 study carried out by the Italian National Tumour Institute in Milan on the Bibione beach area found that secondhand smoke from a distance of 10 metres away was equal to two times the amount of air pollution found at roundabouts near the resort entrance produced from car exhaust.
Between 2014 and 2018, 550,000 cigarette butts were collected from the beach. For perspective, it can take up to a decade for cigarettes to decompose due to the type of plastic used in filters.
Contained, designated smoking areas will be made available for smokers.
The smoking ban in Italy follows similar measures already implemented in parts of France, the United States, Australia and Britain. — AFP Relaxnews