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OSI Conference on Public Health Education T obacco control policy in Armenia: Translating Evidence into Practice Narine Movsisyan, MD, MPH ArmPHA Tobacco Control Policy Project Director Varna, Bulgaria June 8-10, 2005. ARMENIA. Country Information. Population 3,061,000 Urban 64%

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OSI Conference on Public Health EducationTobacco control policy in Armenia:Translating Evidence into PracticeNarine Movsisyan, MD, MPHArmPHA Tobacco Control Policy Project DirectorVarna, BulgariaJune 8-10, 2005



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Country Information

  • Population 3,061,000

  • Urban 64%

  • Age <15 22.2%

  • Age 65+ 10.1%

  • Life exp 65.0/72.0 (m/f)

  • Total health expenditure 5.8% of GDP (2002)

    Source: World Almanac 2005



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SMOKING BURDEN

  • Male smoking rate 67.5%

  • Female smoking rate* 3.1%

  • Smoking attributable mortality 22%

  • Yrs of life lost due to smoking** 17

    *Health and Demographic Survey 2000

    **Mortality caused by smoking in developing countries. Peto, R, Lopez, A


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ArmPHA Tobacco Control Policy Project(funded by OSI)

  • Armenian Public Health Alliance

    • American University of Armenia

    • Armenian Public Health Association

    • Armenian Public Health Union

      Coalition for Tobacco Free Armenia

    • 23 non-governmental organizations with diverse backgrounds


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Preliminary assessment

  • Review of literature

  • Stakeholders identification

  • Assessment of opportunities and challenges


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INTERVENTION

  • Assisting/ supporting policymakers

  • Partnering with media

  • Building public coalition


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The Coalition for Tobacco-free Armenia established

Armenia ratifies the FCTC, becoming one of the first 40 countries

Parliamentary hearings held on tobacco control issues

National Law on tobacco control adopted

June 12

October 12

November 17

December 24

Achievements






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LESSONS LEARNED

  • #1

    Elected officials and civil servants are unpredictable, both on positions and the timing of discussions; flexibility is critical

  • #2

    Having an ally in the policymaking body (a “champion”) is an asset


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LESSONS LEARNED

  • #3

    Media work best when provided with written press-releases; it lacks analytical, investigative skills

  • #4

    Democratic and transparent management is critical to building a coalition of NGOs


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What the Armenian law restricts?

  • Indoor smoking banned in all health, education, culture institutions & public transport

  • In all other worksites, smoking is permitted only in specially designated places

  • Sale to and by minors & sale by item banned

  • Distribution of free cigarettes banned

  • Distribution/sale of other items with brand logos banned

  • Health warning increased to at least 30% of the front and back areas of a pack (due 2008)


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Challenges in implementation

  • Low public awareness of the law

  • No administrative & financial mechanisms to enforce the law

  • Insufficient means to monitor the process

  • Industry counteraction

  • Lack of political will to enforce


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Strategies for the Year 2

  • Strengthen the Coalition

  • Strengthen the partnership with media

  • Stimulate a public debate on the law

  • Provide baseline data on public attitudes toward tobacco control policy

  • Advocate to ban outdoor billboards

  • Establish and celebrate a national

    Smoke Out Day

  • Continue to build upon Year 1 success/ momentum


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