On October 5, 2010, the Center for Health Services Research and Development (CHSR) of the American University of Armenia (AUA) started a series of round table discussions about achievements and shortcomings of tobacco control legislation implementation in Armenia. The participants of the discussion included Alexander Bazarchyan, Coordinator of the tobacco control programs of the Ministry of Health; Lusine Kocharyan, Leading Expert from the State Hygiene and Anti-epidemic Inspectorate; Norayr Mnacakanyan, Deputy Head of the “Hasarakakan kargi apahovum” Department of RA Police; Liana Ghaltakhchyan, Leading Expert from the Ministry of Justice; Marieta Khurshudyan, Expert on Health Policy and Legislation of the Standing Committee on Health, Maternity and Childhood issues of RA National Assembly; Anahit Haytayan, Reporter of the “Republic of Armenia” daily newspaper; Artashes Tadevosyan, “Center for Environmental Studies” NGO; Zaruhi Janibekyan, “Open Medical Club” NGO; Avag Avagyan, “Haghartcin” NGO; Varduhi Petrosyan, Director, CHSR AUA; Narine Movsisyan, Senior Program Manager, CHSR AUA; and Diana Petrosyan, Research Associate, CHSR AUA.
The participants presented their professional observations and opinions about the status of tobacco control policy implementation in Armenia. CHSR/AUA shared the preliminary findings of tobacco control legislation implementation monitoring in Yerevan, which suggest serious problems in tobacco control policy implementation and lack of protection of citizens of Armenia from exposure to secondhand smoke at worksites and public places.
The participants of the discussion decided to organize a follow-up meeting to discuss the new draft legislative package prepared by the Ministry of Justice. Resulting recommendations, as a collaborative opinion from state agencies and civil society, could help to improve it when submitted to the RA National Assembly.