Armenia parliament turns down smoking control bill

ITAR-TASS News Agency
March 18, 2004 Thursday

Armenia parliament turns down smoking control bill

By Tigran Liloyan


The Armenian parliament has turned down a draft law restricting
smoking. The bill had suggested imposing of ban on sales of tobacco
products to underage persons, as well as smoking at all health,
culture, sports, educational facilities, at other public premises and
at transport.

The author of the bill, Chairwoman of the Permanent Parliamentary
Commission for issues of science and education, culture and youth
Granush Akopyan said the number of smokers is steadily growing in the

Armenian residents spend 25 million dollars a year for cigarettes and
other tobacco products. The after-effects of this addiction are
manifested in the growth of lung and cardio-vascular diseases and
malignant tumors. The spread of the smoking habit among adolescents
and young people, as well as women is especially disturbing.

Local observers are certain the bill has been voted down by
influential parliamentarians engaged in the import of tobacco or
lobbying the tobacco business.

Incidentally, Akopyan even made certain concessions to her colleagues
who own cafes and restaurants. She proposed to allow smoking in bars
at separate places, but even the softened variant of the bill was

In the meantime, there are clouds of smoke at breaks between
parliamentary meetings, as the mps cannot make themselves give up