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The fight against tobacco by a new law

Armenia intends to apply strict restrictions on cigarette sales and use. Recently, the draft law “On the Reduction and Prevention of Tobacco Products Use” has been put into circulation, which soon became a topic of broad discussion.

 

Restrictions on smoking have long matured. In Armenia they smoke everywhere in public transport, shopping centers, cafes, in all places of entertainment, not taking into account the presence of children. Meanwhile, experts distinguish between two types of cigarette smoke, basic and passive. The main smoke is undesirable for the smoker, but the passive smoke is much more harmful because 80% of the harmful substances are emitted from the burning tobacco cigarette and affect the surrounding people. Passive smoke in the world is causing every 10th death. 31% of deaths due to its effects occur among children …

 

“High fines for smoking are definitely unmatched mechanism”

 

Heated discussions focused not only on the prohibition of the sale and use of cigarettes as prescribed by law, but also on the high levels of penalties imposed in case of overcoming those barriers.

 

The bill prohibits tobacco use in public areas, including in health care facilities, kindergartens, schools, universities, theater, museums, libraries, cinemas and entertainment centers, sports halls, complexes and stadium venues, restaurants, cafes, bars, cupboards and other objects of cooking and sale), transport (transportation of passengers overhead, electric and subway stations) at transport stops, waiting rooms, passenger service areas, airports (except for place marks), ropeway areas, railway and underground stations, parking lots, bus stations,  elevations, multi-apartment buildings elevators and common areas, casinos , shopping and entertainment facilities.

 

The fine for smoking in these places amounts to 50,000 – 250,000 AMD.

 

Director of the National Institute of Health, the National Institute for the Prevention of Tobacco use Alexander Basarchyan, told us that the practice shows that low fines do not work. “International practice shows that they are trying to impose a relatively high penalty, and this is an unequivocal mechanism for fighting. So we did not invent anything new. The bill is based on the principle of health protection. And based on this principle, the goal of the project is not only tobacco fight or smoke regulation, but improvement of people’s health indicators, “said Alexander Bazarchyan.

 

In Armenia in September-December 2016, the National Institute of Health and the World Health Organization (WHO) conducted a study called STEPS in the 18-69 age group. 2349 respondents took part in the poll. The results alarm increase in the number of smoking women.

 

While health care providers are trying to cope with tobacco use, the Armenian Statistical Service reports that cigarette production in the country has grown.

 

Full text in Armenian

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