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Light Up!

Posted on Feb 4, 2009 | 7 comments

This cigarette vending machine allows smokers to buy cigarettes even after the tabbachi shop has closed. You’ll notice that the metal serranda, which protects the store, has special slots cut into it so the machine can be accessed. The funny thing is that when I stopped to take photos of it, another girl came up behind me to start photographing it as well! I guess I gave her a good idea.

It’s funny how smoking has changed here in Italy in a short period of time. When I studied abroad in 2001, cigarettes were ridiculously cheap (and we were on the lira at that time) and almost everyone smoked, including my host family. This was a big change from the US, where smokers are a bit shunned and it’s looked down upon as a bad habit. Here it was almost impossible to meet someone who didn’t smoke. Then, in 2005, a smoking ban in public places took effect. The vietato fumare signs went up and when I heard the news while back in the US, I couldn’t believe it. I honestly didn’t think people would follow the rules (and sometimes they still don’t), but for the most part we are in a smoke free zone and I have to say I’ve noticed that while certainly more people smoke here than compared to the US, it is easier to find people that don’t smoke. Cigarettes cost a bit more now, though you’ll find a lot of people who roll their own to save money, and with it harder to smoke indoors more people are giving up the habit. It’s still not viewed in the same unhealthy way as in the US, but at least it makes it easier for those of us who don’t smoke!


  1. I am one of those that quitted for price and ban of cigarettes, well i wanted to so the just give me one more reason.. but i don’t know… now even if it’s all more healthy (a part breating in the traffic of course)… i find that it’s a little more sad…

  2. so funny. I feel like everyone here smokes so I cannot even imagine how bad it was before the ban.

    Then again I moved here from L.A. where smoke ciggies (pot is okay) is not acceptable along with being over a size 2 or over 30.

  3. 3mendo – Bravo! It is good that you quit smoking! I’ve never been a smoker, so my perspective is different, but many people I know who quit do say they miss it as well, even though they know it was better to quit.

    NYC – Oh you would have died before then….it gotten a million times better. The US in general has a much much different attitude about smoking and I’m sure LA is even more different. I read somewhere that before the ban Italy was the country with the 3rd highest number of smokers.

  4. Love the colors!

  5. Thanks Snapshutter, that’s what caught my eye as well. The graffiti is actually color coordinated pretty well with the lights of the machine.

  6. wow… i love this photo.

  7. Ciao Rich…thanks for the comment and welcome to the blog. This is one of my new favs as well.

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