During the discussion the documented results of a series of observation of different forms of tobacco advertising and promotion in Armenia, their compliance with the RA legislation and World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, as well as possible improvements of the national law and its enforcement were introduced.
The panelists included Arusyak Harutyunyan, researcher at AUA School of Public Health, Coordinator at Coalition of Tobacco Free Armenia; Ani Jilozian, Fulbright Research Fellow at AUA, School of Public Health, Lilian Avedian, Armenian Volunteer Corps alumna, Anahit Bakhshyan, Armenian Volunteer Corps volunteer; Alexander Bazarchyan, National Institute of Health; Arpine Yeghikyan, Board member of Armenian Young Lawyers' Association, DJ Vakcina, Alfred Hunanyan, representative of Yerevan Municipality.
The speakers condemned the existence of game machines offering cigarettes in locations meant for schoolchildren. Anahit Bakhshyan from Armenian Volunteer Corps presented statistical data of tobacco propaganda in Armenian TV series.
"Another way of indirect propaganda is made by celebrities smoking in public places. However, we're glad not to discover any sportsmen during our monitoring", - Anahit Bakhshyan said.
"It's not pleasant to see in our so-called show business people, promoting unhealthy lifestyle", DJ Vakcina noted.
Lawyer Arpine Yeghikyan stressed that the problem is not in legislation, but its application: the law provides penalties for the mentioned cases.
"Appearance of a smoking person in a TV show is an attempt of negative behaviour encouragement. Unfortunately, tobacco advertisement is not yet prohibited in sales outlets, but the Ministry of Health is currently drafting a project", Alexander Bazarchyan mentioned.
On May 31, each year the world celebrates the World No Tobacco Day under the auspices of the World Health Organization (WHO) highlighting the health risks associated with tobacco use and advocating for effective policies to reduce tobacco consumption.
The theme of this year’s campaign is “Ban tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship”.
Armenia was the first post-soviet country to accede the FCTC that requires a comprehensive ban of all tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship for all its Parties. However, Armenian national regulation assumes only partial regulation of tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship.
For additional information please contact AUA/SPH researcher, coordinator of Coalition for Tobacco Free Armenia Arusyak Harutyunyan: (+374 10) 512621,(+374 10) 512617; firstname.lastname@example.org