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News 2010

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December 14, 2010. First Smoke-Free Awards Ceremony

On December 14, 2010, the Coalition for Tobacco-Free Armenia and the Center for Health Services Research and Development of the American University of Armenia (AUA/CHSR), with support from the American Cancer Society, Cancer Research UK and the Framework Convention Alliance, organized the first Smoke-Free Awards Ceremony at AUA’s Akian Art Gallery to support and promote the establishment of smoke-free worksites in Armenia.
The worksite facilities at the event were selected based on suggestions from members of the Coalition for Tobacco Free Armenia and the results of smoke-free monitoring in Yerevan, Gyumri, and Vanadzor by the CHSR/AUA.
Smoke-free awardees received a Smoke-Free Flag with a Certificate of Achievement for their success in maintaining a smoke-free worksite while those facilities that failed in maintaining a smoke-free worksite were provided a symbolic ashtray covered by a cap with a no-smoking sign such that no smoker could use the ashtray. This memento was designed to motivate them to become a smoke-free worksite.
Lastly, “YerevanTrans” CJSC was recognized for its efforts aimed at making public transport smoke-free, and “VivaCell-MTS” CJSC was recognized for its continuous support to the tobacco control public movement in Armenia.

October 5, 2010. Round Table Discussion on Tobacco Control Legislation Implementation in Armenia

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 where participants presented their professional observations and opinions about the status of tobacco control policy implementation in Armenia. The discussion participants included representatives from the Ministry of Health, State Hygiene and Anti-epidemic Inspectorate, RA Police, Ministry of Justice, RA National Assembly, different NGO’s, AUA/CHSR and the media.
CHSR/AUA’s preliminary findings suggested serious problems in tobacco control legislation implementation in Yerevan and a lack of measures to protect Armenian citizens from secondhand smoke exposure at worksites and public places.  Accordingly, the discussion participants decided to organize a follow-up meeting to discuss and provide recommendations for the new draft legislative package prepared by the Ministry of Justice.

May 31, 2010.  The First “Tobacco Or Health” Conference in Armenia.

On the occasion of the World No Tobacco Day, the Yerevan State Medical University (YSMU) in partnership with the Center for Health Services Research and Development of the American University of Armenia (CHSR/AUA) convened the first ever “Tobacco or Health” Conference in Armenia.  The universities leaders, Dr. Gohar Kyalyan and Dr. Haroutune Armenian made opening remarks. Dr. Ara Babloyan, Chair of the Parliamentary Committee on Healthcare, Maternity and Childhood and Mr. Suren Krmoyan, the Advisor to the Minister of Health welcomed the conference participants.

Three discussion sessions were held during the conference.

Session 1. Public Health/Policy session, global tobacco control strategies and implications for Armenia

Session 1. Public Health/Policy session, global tobacco control strategies and implications for Armenia

The session was facilitated by Elizabeth Danielyan, head of the WHO Country Office for Armenia. The key speakers included Frances Stillman, Co-Director of the Johns Hopkins Institute for Global Tobacco Control; Lena Nanushyan, expert on health policy and legislation of the Parliamentary Committee on Healthcare, Maternity and Childhood; Alexander Bazarchyan, Coordinator of Tobacco Control Program of the Ministry of Health; Narine Movsisyan, Tobacco Control Projects Manager, CHSR/AUA, and Diana Petrosyan, Research Associate, CHSR/AUA.
On his video address to participants, Gregory Connolly from the Harvard School of Public Health who has been a friend of the Coalition for Tobacco Free Armenia since its establishement, shared his vision  on how to make smoking history in Armenia.

Session 2. Smoke-free hospitals: an opportunity for a healthier future

Session 2. Smoke-free hospitals: an opportunity for a healthier future

Ruzanna Sedrakyan, Head nurse of National Oncology Center after Fanarjyan; Arusyak Harutyunyan, Research Associate, CHSR/AUA; Sergey Sargsyan, Head of the Methodology Department, the Institute of Child and Adolescents Health at Arabkir Medical Center as well as Frances Stillman , Co-Director of the Institute for Global Tobacco Contol at Johns Hopkins University shared their experiences at the session facilitated by Robert Bagramian, the Dean of the College of Health Sciences at AUA.

Session 3. Clinical issues: smoking as a major risk factor
Session 3. Clinical issues: smoking as a major risk factor

M. Narimanyan, Associate Dean of YSMU; M. Ohanyan, Associate Professor, Department of Family Medicine at YSMU,  H. Manvelyan, Chair of Neurology Department at YSMU; A. Azizyan, Associate Professor at University of Southern California; S. Danielyan, Head of Oncology Department, YSMU, K. Abelyan, reproductive health and family planning specialist at USAID Project NOVA-2  and R. Bagramian, Dean of College of Health Sciences were the speakers of this session lead by Gevorg Yaghjyan, Associate Dean of YSMU.
The participants of the 1st “Tobacco or Health” Conference adopted a resolution on future strategies for smoking prevention and control to emphasize the importance of smoke-free hospitals, the integration of tobacco control education in the medical curriculum, and the endorsement of smoking cessation guidelines by health professionals in Armenia.

May 31, 2010.  Student Walk on 2010 World No Tobacco Day.

The Student Council of the American University of Armenia (AUA) in collaboration with the students from other Universities and volunteers of the Armenian Red Cross Society organized a student walk dedicated to the World No Tobacco Day.  The event was aimed at raising awareness about health hazards of smoking through youth action.

The participants walked from the Yerevan Cascade area to the Republic Square with handmade posters “No Smoking” and “Clean Air”. Leaflets about tobacco control legislation and health hazards of smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke were distributed during the walk.  Young activists were engaged in various activities, such as “flash mob” and exchange of cigarette packs with small gifts to generate public attention and participation.
The walk was widely covered by media.

Student Walk on 2010 World No Tobacco Day