The use of tobacco in Armenia is a serious problem. The population has predominantly used tobacco by smoking. Unfortunately, we have no objective data on the number and social structure of smokers in the Soviet period, and only since 1994, when the MOH initiated appropriate studies and researches, we had got more or less objective information about the tobacco use, its prevalence and consequences in Armenia. [See, country profile]

Traditionally, smokers in Armenia were men, but in the course of time the epidemic has also spread among women and young people. Gradually, the issue of tobacco smoking due has invoked the interest not only among health experts and professionals, but also among large circles of the Armenian society. Now there is a large list of institutions and non-governmental organizations, dealing with the problem of tobacco control, and it is necessary to note that this problem is also one of the Government’s priorities. The problem is so urgent not because Armenia has always been a traditional tobacco-cultivating country, but it is also a producer of the final tobacco product – cigarettes, and the tobacco industry in Armenia is very influential. Apart of the local tobacco producers, the transnational corporations are also present in Armenia – by official representations offering, advertising and promoting their products at the local market.

Since the end of 1990s, MOH, some members parliament and tobacco control activists started working on the tobacco control policy with the WHO support. Armenia’s involvement in the tobacco-related international forums has become more active and comprehensive. The Armenian representatives have made a valuable contribution to the elaboration of international initiatives, projects, actions, working out of documents, statements, etc.

Tobacco control activity in Armenia embraces a lot of institutions, organizations and NGOs.

The MOH tobacco control program is coordinated by Dr. Alexander Bazarchyan under the guidance of Head State Sanitary Doctor of MOH Vladimir Davidyants.

The main challenges of tobacco smoking in Armenia are the tobacco-related mortality, morbidity, economic losses, socio-cultural consequences.

The main objective of the Program is to reduce the tobacco smoking prevalence and its negative impact on non-smokers and the society as a whole in the country by means of increasing awareness among the population (conferences, WNTDs, seminars, round tables, TV programs, shows), elaboration of tobacco control policy (promotion of FCTC, preparation of drafts for legislation acts, amendments, consultations with MPs), coordination of efforts of the state and non-governmental institutions and organizations (working meetings, consultations, discussion), etc.

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