CAPE TOWN, South Africa ‒ Two researchers from the Zvart Avedisian Onanian Center for Health Services Research and Development (CHSR), the American University of Armenia (AUA) Gerald and Patricia Turpanjian School of Public Health (SPH), Armine Abrahamyan (MPH ’15) and Varduhi Hayrumyan (MPH ’16), were competitively selected to receive full scholarships to participate and present at the 17th World Conference on Tobacco or Health (WCTOH) in Cape Town, South Africa from March 7-9, 2018.
The WCTOH is the premier international forum on tobacco control that aims to foster regional and international partnerships through exchange and mentorship opportunities. This year, for the first time in its 50-year history, the event was held on the African continent.
The conference brought together 2000 delegates from more than 100 countries, including researchers, academics, non-governmental organizations, civil society, scientists, healthcare professionals and public officials, working on all aspects of tobacco control. As the conference theme “Uniting the World for a Tobacco-Free Generation” suggests, international collaboration is vital for tackling tobacco use, which remains the world’s leading preventable cause of death, killing more than seven million people each year.
Within the scope of the WCTOH 2018, the CHSR tobacco control team presented several works: a symposium presentation “Tobacco and tuberculosis: Two global epidemics” by Arusyak Harutyunyan; a pitch presentation“Self-efficacy predicts the outcome of smoking cessation attempts” by Varduhi Hayrumyan, Arusyak Harutyunyan, and Tsovinar Harutyunyan; as well as two poster presentations “Missed teachable moments for promoting smoking cessation in primary care: a qualitative study in Armenia” by Armine Abrahamyan, Arusyak Harutyunyan, and Varduhi Petrosyan; and, “Evaluation of smoking cessation training in Armenia” by Arusyak Harutyunyan, Armine Abrahamyan, Varduhi Hayrumyan, and Varduhi Petrosyan.
All abstracts were published in the Tobacco Induced Disease journal, Volume 16, Supplement 1, March 2018.
During the WCTOH 2018, Abrahamyan and Hayrumyan also participated in the “Share A Pack” event organized by the Institute for Global Tobacco Control (IGTC) at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. The event aimed to document tobacco packs on the global market and demonstrate how tobacco companies use design to sell their products. They added tobacco packs from Armenia into the gallery.
The conference gave Abrahamyan and Hayrumyan the unique opportunity to meet with prominent scientists and advocates in the field of tobacco control, including Ms. Katie Kemper, Executive Director of Global Bridges Healthcare Alliance for Tobacco Dependence; Dr. Constantine Vardavas and Ms. Charis Girvalaki, the European Network for Smoking and Tobacco Prevention (ENSP); and, Dr. Mark Parascandola, the National Cancer Institute, USA.
The AUA Gerald and Patricia Turpanjian School of Public Health works actively to improve population health and health services in Armenia and the region through interdisciplinary education and development of public health professionals to be leaders in public health, health services research and evaluation, and health care delivery and management.