On October 24, 2011 the National Assembly (NA) of the Republic of Armenia hosted the anti-smoking exhibition dedicated to the National No Tobacco Day. The exhibition was a result of a fruitful collaboration between the Center for Health Services Research and Development of the American University of Armenia (AUA/CHSR) and two youth art education centers – the College-Studio of the National Center of Aesthetics and the Art School after Avet Terteryan. Using the language of art, young artists expressed their understandings of and attitudes toward the problem of smoking, exposure to secondhand smoke and non-smokers’ right to smoke-free air.
Ara Babloyan, Chair of the Standing Committee on Health Care, Maternity and Childhood commenced the exhibition emphasizing the evidence that smoking results in the morbidity, disability and mortality of millions of people. Dr. Babloyan added that in the past several years the NA has made a tangible contribution to tobacco control in Armenia by implementing legislative changes. He added that several NA members quit smoking in the last four years. He also thanked the Chairman of the NA, Hovik Abrahamyan, for serving as an excellent example of one who maintains a healthy lifestyle.
The Chairman of the NA, Hovik Abrahamyan, expressed his appreciation to the AUA/CHSR for organizing the exhibition and urged fellow citizens to quit smoking and adopt a healthy lifestyle. Mr. Abrahamyan highlighted that NA members should quit smoking and serve as a model for society. As a first step, he proposed that the third floor of the RA NA building, where the sessions of the NA take place, become smoke-free.
Dr. Narine Movsisyan, Senior Programs Manager at AUA/CHSR thanked the Chairman of the NA for supporting the organization of the exhibition and on behalf of the Coalition for Tobacco-Free Armenia called on the NA members not to delay the discussion of the new legislative package on tobacco control, adding that NA members should make their contribution for the healthy future of our children.
The young artists were very excited and pleased to explain their paintings to the NA Chairman, NA members, guests and media representatives.