First Conference on ‘Tobacco or Health’ in Armenia

YEREVAN—To mark the World No Tobacco Day, the Yerevan State Medical University and the American University of Armenia convened the first “Tobacco or Health” Conference in Armenia on May 31.

The Conference brought together medical and public health students, faculty, clinicians, public health professionals from Armenia and Diaspora as well as international experts to discuss the mounting evidence on health hazards of smoking and health professional’s responsibility in countering the smoking epidemic in Armenia. This event was organized within the framework of the Yerevan State Medical University 90th anniversary celebration.

The leaders of two universities Dr. Gohar Kyalyan and Dr. Haroutune Armenian made opening remarks, and the Chair of the Parliamentary Committee on Health Dr. Ara Babloyan and the Advisor to the Minister of Health Mr. Suren Krmoyan welcomed the participants of the Conference.

Dr. Kyalyan emphasized the vital role that health professionals play in delivering the truth about smoking addiction to the society as a whole as the number one preventable cause of death: “It is high time to start respecting ourselves and to be proud of being healthy…”

Dr. Armenian highlighted: “Twentieth century medicine had its major emphasis on prevention of diseases; 21st century medicine will be the century where we build health”. He called the participants, medical students, physicians and other health professionals to quit smoking now: “You are our nation’s health leaders, therefore you cannot smoke”.

The conference covered public health and policy aspects of tobacco use, benefits of smoke-free hospitals, emphasized the evidence that tobacco is a major risk factor for many deadly diseases and the need for smoking cessation interventions in Armenia. World known experts in tobacco control Dr. Frances Stillman, Co-Director of the Johns Hopkins Global Tobacco Control, and Dr. Gregory Connolly, Chair of the Division of Public Health Practice at the Harvard School of Public Health (video address) shared their experience with the conference participants and suggested ways to make smoking history in Armenia.

The Organizing Committee of the 1st “Tobacco or Health” Conference developed a conference resolution on future strategies of smoking prevention and control by health professionals emphasizing smoke-free hospitals, integration of tobacco control education in the medical curriculum, and endorsement of smoking cessation guidelines.


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  1. Random Armenian said:

    Smoking wastes money and health at the same time. And there are so many doctors who do smoke. That’s what I don’t get sometimes.

    If you’re reading this and you do smoke, please, please find a way to stop.

  2. Pingback: Coverage of the Tobacco or Health Conference « CME YSMU's Blog

  3. john papazian said:

    I smoke,my choice to smoke and if I get lung canser it’s my own fault.I just hope they’re not smoking Camels.

  4. Dr M said:

    Hopefully, this conference is a first step to new anti-tobacco laws and regulations in Armenia.
    Dave Goerlitz a former spokesman for Winston quoted the RJR representative “We don’t smoke that stuff, we just sell it. We reserve the right to smoke for the young, poor, black, and stupid.” I think the quote is a little racist but says it all.

    John Papazian, you’re right it’s your choice and addiction. People like you make-up about the 25% of adult population. But in Armenia currently more than 60% of men smoke and not all of them are addicted. Many are young, uneducated, stupid and are victims of the Armenian, not Turkish tobacco mogul’s greed, and Armenian government’s impotency. The issue is the protection of the others and here is where Armenia needs anti-tobacco laws and proper execution of those.
    You should be free to kill yourself, (as long as you don’t seek for public funds to pay for your your chemo) but not your child or wife or random strangers at the restaurants.

  5. manooshag said:

    Hye, smokers, addicted or not, are making the cigarette/cigar companies richer and richer… And, since the smokers in the USA and other countries more and more are not buying (less money for the cigarette companies) . Yet, Armenians becoming more and more addicted (making themselves sicker and poorer) cigarette companies now look to other nations, (Armenia), to fill their emptied pockets – and
    don’t care if Armenian smokers get cancer and die…. as long as their cigarettes are sold in Armenia…

  6. john papazian said:

    Prohibition on cigarettes is only going to create another underground or black market.

  7. Dr M said:

    There is no need for prohibition; just proper education, high taxes and laws to protect non-smokers.

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