Armenia to Join International Anti-Smoke Convention


YEREVAN, APRIL 16, ARMENPRESS: About 1 million 200,000 people die
of smoking in Europe annually. Doctors project this number to reach 2
million by 2020. Mortality rate from cigarettes makes up 14 percent
of total deaths. According to official statistics, 67 percent of men
and 3.1 percent of women smoke in Armenia. Specialists say cigarettes
cause 30 percent of cancer and 20 percent of heart diseases.

Members of World Health Organization which comprise 192 countries
have developed International Anti-Smoke Exchange Convention. Some 102
countries have already signed it. The convention aims to fight smoking
disease. Armenia also intends to join the convention. Armenian Health
ministry discussed the details during a round table yesterday. The
convention will be signed on June 29, 2004 at UN office.

It envisages certain legal and administrative responsibilities,
such as prohibition of promotion of cigarettes, sale of cigarettes to
teenagers. Currently both the foreign ministry and the health
ministry have positive attitudes to the convention but it is being
discussed with other agencies as well. The convention also proposes
control mechanisms. Every 2 year the implementation of convention
requirements are conferred.