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AUA School of Public Health Teams up with the Armenian Volunteer Corps for World No Tobacco Day

On the occasion of World No Tobacco Day, the American University of Armenia (AUA) School of Public Health (SPH) partnered with the Armenian Volunteer Corps (AVC) to conduct research on this year’s theme, “Ban Tobacco Advertising, Promotion, and Sponsorship.”

On May 31, 2013, the team from SPH and AVC presented their findings at a Public Health seminar for health professionals and the AUA community, as well as via a livestreamed press conference at Media Center geared toward media representatives.

World No Tobacco Day, celebrated each year under the auspices of the World Health Organization (WHO), aims to highlight the health risks associated with tobacco use and to advocate for effective policies to reduce tobacco consumption. Armenia was the first post-Soviet country to accede to the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) that requires a comprehensive ban of all tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship for all its Parties.  However, Armenia’s regulation of tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship remains partial.

The research, led by Dr. Arusyak Harutyunyan, research associate and project coordinator at SPH, aimed to monitor Armenia’s compliance with the FCTC, to report violations of the national law, and to advocate for more effective legislation. The SPH and AVC team observed several areas of tobacco advertising and promotion as evidenced by cigarette claw game machines aimed at young children, the portrayal of smoking in popular Armenian TV series, and the way in which youth-identified celebrity role models did or did not condone tobacco consumption.

Dr. Harutyunyan explains, “We hope that these findings will facilitate awareness of the risks associated with current practices of tobacco promotion and emphasize the immediate need for effective policies banning all tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship in Armenia.”

The AUA School of Public Health works actively to improve the health of the populace and health services in Armenia and the region through interdisciplinary education and development of public health professionals and others to be leaders in public health, health services research and evaluation, and health care delivery and management.

Founded in 1991, the American University of Armenia (AUA) is a private, independent university located in Yerevan, Armenia and affiliated with the University of California. AUA provides a global education in Armenia and the region, offering high-quality, graduate and undergraduate studies, encouraging civic engagement, and promoting public service and democratic values.

 

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