June 13-14, 2011. Young Artists Join the Fight Against Passive Smoking

On June 13-14, the Center for Health Services Research and Development, American University of Armenia (CHSR/AUA) organized two exhibitions to advocate for non-smokers’ rights in Armenia. These events were planned and implemented within a broader tobacco control advocacy project supported by the Open Society Foundations – Armenia, and were a result of the fruitful collaboration between the CHSR/AUA tobacco control team and two youth educational centers: the College-Studio of the National Center of Aesthetics, directed by Mr. Samvel Baghdasaryan, and Davitashen Municipality’s Youth Creativity Center, led by Mr. Artur Martirosyan.
The College-Studio students of the National Center of Aesthetics presented their fascinating works in front of Yerevan State University.   The invited media interviewed young artists who passionately described how their work expressed their ideas about smoking and the problem of smoking.  The CHSR/AUA team urged exhibition visitors to not expose their friends and family to secondhand smoke and encouraged non-smokers to assert their right to smoke-free air at worksites and public places.   The AUA team also passed out flyers with a hotline number for non-smokers and information on health hazards of passive smoking.
At the Youth Creativity Center of Davitashen Municipality, more than twenty children presented their anti-smoking paintings.  Mr. Gevorgyan, the head of Davitashen’s Municipality, who is a non-smoker himself, emphasized the importance of raising awareness among children about the problems of smoking and secondhand smoke at an early age.