News 2011

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October 24, 2011. Antismoking Exhibition in National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia

On October 24, 2011 the National Assembly (NA) of the Republic of Armenia’s Green Hall hosted an anti-smoking exhibition dedicated to National No Tobacco Day.  This exhibition resulted from the joint efforts of the Center for Health Services Research and Development of American University of Armenia (AUA/CHSR) and two youth art education centers, namely, the College-Studio of the National Center of Aesthetics and the Art School after Avet Terteryan.  The young artists’ work expressed their understanding of, and attitude toward, the problem of smoking, involuntary smoking and non-smokers’ right to smoke-free air.  The young artists were very excited and pleased to interpret their paintings to NA Chairman, NA members, guests and media representatives.

Ara Babloyan, Chair of the Standing Committee on Health Care, Maternity and Childhood commenced the exhibition stating that studies have shown that smoking is the cause of illness, disability, and death among millions of people.  Mr. Babloyan added that in recent years the NA has taken steps towards tobacco control in Armenia by implementing legislative changes.  Moreover, he noted that several NA members quit smoking in the last four years, and thanked Hovik Abrahamyan, Chairman of NA, for serving as an excellent example of one who maintains a healthy and smoke-free lifestyle.

Hovik Abrahamyan urged Armenians to quit smoking and adopt a healthy lifestyle. In order for NA members to serve as a model for society, Mr. Abrahamyan stressed that they should quit smoking.   To encourage this, he proposed that the third floor of RA NA building where NA sessions take place become a smoke-free area.

Dr. Narine Movsisyan, Senior Programs Manager at AUA/CHSR on behalf of the Coalition for Tobacco Free Armenia urged NA members to discuss the new legislative package on tobacco control without delay, saying, “Make your contribution for the healthy future of our children.”


October 12, 2011. National No Tobacco Day 2011

The National Assembly of Armenia ratified the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control on October 12, 2004 and later, in 2008, announced October 12 as the National No Tobacco Day.
To celebrate the National No Tobacco day in 2011, the Center for Health Services Research and Development of the American University of Armenia (CHSR/AUA), a founding member of the Coalition for Tobacco-Free Armenia, in cooperation with the Boghossian Gardens, organized an interactive educational session for primary school children.
During the event, AUA Masters of Public Health (MPH) Program students talked to the schoolchildren, promoting the idea of a healthy lifestyle and teaching about the hazards of tobacco smoke through the “Paint It!” game. The children, accompanied by teachers and parents, were very enthusiastic about painting the anti-smoking signs and flags and did not hesitate to express their opinions in front of cameras.  Meanwhile, the CHSR/AUA staff distributed informational leaflets on the health hazards of smoking and secondhand smoke to visitors of the Lovers’ Park.

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.

May 31, 2011. Fight for Tobacco Free Armenia Continues

The Center for Health Services Research and Development, American University of Armenia (CHSR/AUA) in collaboration with the Coalition for Tobacco Free Armenia organized a walk dedicated to World No Tobacco Day.  The purpose of the walk was to raise public awareness about both the health dangers associated with secondhand smoke and tobacco control legislation in Armenia, and to encourage non-smokers to protect their right to smoke-free air.
Participants of the walk marched from the AUA campus to downtown Yerevan carrying banners with messages such as, “Living without smoke is our right,” and “Stop smoking in public places,” among others.   Upon reaching downtown Yerevan, the participants stopped to talk with Yerevan residents, encouraging non-smokers to assert their right to smoke-free air at worksites and other public places.
The walk paused in front of the Youth Foundation of Armenia (YFA), where YFA and the Coalition for Tobacco-Free Armenia had organized a press conference in honor of World No Tobacco Day (WNTD).  After the press conference advocates for non-smokers’ rights continued the activity in public buses and the metro.