The head of a scuola media in Rome has caused a crisis in the staffroom with a circular inviting non-smoking staff to report smoking colleagues to the police.

Sig Matteo Arena took the unusual step after a blitz by a consumers' association, which reported numerous infringements of anti-smoking laws in his school.

Smoking has been outlawed in schools and offices for several years, but headteachers seem powerless to enforce the ban. Teachers smoking in corridors are a common sight throughout the country's schools.

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