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Proposed smoking ban envisages support for potential quitters

armenpress.am11/8th/2019, 9:42

Proposed smoking ban envisages support for potential quitters

The healthcare ministry’s proposed bill on imposing a smoking ban (On Reducing and Preventing Health Damages Resulting from Tobacco Products and Substitutes), envisages a number of restrictions for smoking in public areas.

Deputy Minister of Healthcare Lena Nanushyan told a news conference today that the bill also envisages restrictions on selling tobacco and adverstisements.

“For example, if a restaurant patron is smoking the manager of the venue is obliged to warn them that smoking is banned there. If the patron continues smoking, police can intervene and fine them,” she said, adding that the public areas (restaurants, cafes) must install No-Smoking signs in visible locations.

Fines for citizens will be set up to 50,000 drams given the situation. If a restaurant manager has failed to notify that smoking is prohibited then the restrauant itself will be fined from 150 to 250 thousand drams.

Airing tobacco advertisements on TV are subject to an up to 750,000 dram fines.

Nanushyan emphasized that the bill is not targeting smokers, it is directed for preserving public health. Moreover, the bill also envisages support for smokers who are willing to quit.

Director of the National Healthcare Institute Alexander Bazarchyan said they’ve closely worked with different stakeholder parties during the development of the bill package. He said they’ve studied international practice and leading experts have been involved.

“The claims that banning smoking in enclosed areas and entertainment venues might harm the businesses is not appropriate. Different countries’ experience shows that these restrictions haven’t anyhow impacted businesses. Currently, dozens of restaurants and entertainment facilities have already switched to a No Smoking mode without ev...

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