Milan set to ban smoking outdoors in public from January

Local authorities in Milan have approved a ban on smoking at bus stops as well as in other outdoor public places as part of new measures to improve the city's air quality.

Milan set to ban smoking outdoors in public from January
Milan's parks will be a smoke-free zone from January 1st. Photo: AFP
The new rules will come into effect from January 1st 2021 after a majority of local councillors voted in favour of the ban on smoking outdoors in places such as public transport stops, parks, chldrens' play areas, sports stadiums and cemeteries.
Smoking will be banned within 10 metres of other people, reports Italian news agency Ansa.
The clean air legislation also includes a requirement for petrol stations to install electric car-charging points, and the phasing out of diesel-powered heating systems.
Milan mayor Giuseppe (Beppe) Sala is planning to ban smoking completely in all public outdoor areas from January 1st, 2025, prompted by studies showing how smoking contributes to pollution, Italian newspaper La Stampa writes.
Along with other cities including Rome and Florence, Milan was recording dangerously high pollution levels – specifically of PM10 fine particles – at the beginning of the year.
Some vehicles were banned from driving in city centres during what officials called the “smog emergency”.
While pollution levels lowered dramatically during Italy's coronavirus lockdown, public awareness was focused on Italy's long-standing issues with pollution when the preliminary results of studies suggested a possible link between poor air quality and illness due to Covid-19.
Italy has had a ban on smoking indoors since 2005, but rules are less strict than in some other European countries; smoking is allowed on bar and restaurant terraces and next to the doors of public buildings, for example.
Some Italian cities have stricter local measures in place. In Verona and Bolzano smoking is banned in parks and green spaces.
Venice's mayor also proposed banning smoking in the city centre last year, though nothing has come of it yet.
Milan is so far unique among Italian cities in approving a ban on smoking outdoors in public.

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Romanian billionaire and seven others die in Milan plane crash

A light aircraft piloted by Romanian billionaire Dan Petrescu crashed into an empty office building near Milan on Sunday, killing him, his wife and son, and all five others aboard.

Police and rescue teams outside the office building where a small plane crashed in the Milan suburb of San Donato.
Police and rescue teams outside the office building where a small plane crashed in the Milan suburb of San Donato on October 3rd. Photo: Miguel Medina/AFP

The single-engine Pilatus PC-12 had taken off from Milan’s Linate airport shortly after 1pm headed for Olbia in the north of the Italian island of Sardinia.

It crashed just a few minutes later into a building in San Donato Milanese, a town southeast of Milan, according to aviation agency ANSV, which has opened an investigation.

Witnesses said the plane was already in flames before it crashed into an office building undergoing renovations.

Petrescu’s 65-year-old wife, who also had French nationality, and their son Dan Stefano, 30, were killed.

Italian media identified the other passengers as entrepreneur Filippo Nascimbene, a 33-year-old from Lombardy, with his wife, young son and mother-in-law, who have French nationality.

Petrescu, 68, was one of Romania’s richest men. He headed a major construction firm and owned a string of hypermarkets and malls. He also held Germany nationality, the Corriere della Sera newspaper reported.

Flames engulfed the two-storey building, next to the yellow line subway terminus.

“The impact was devastating,” Carlo Cardinali, of the Milan fire brigade, told news agency Ansa.

Deputy prosecutor Tiziana Siciliano was quoted by Corriere as saying that the plane’s black box had been recovered.