PanARMENIAN.Net - 28% of the residents of Armenia are smokers, Deputy Health Minister Lena Nanushyan said Monday, December 9, with 52% of adult men and 2-3% of adult women puffing on cigarettes regularly.
The National Assembly is discussing ways to reduce harm to health caused by tobacco products.
Nanushyan reminded lawmakers that smoking causes cancer in the lung, oral cavity, esophagus and a number of other organs, as well as heart attacks, and contributes to other diseases.
According to the Deputy Minister, many non-smokers are affected by second-hand smoke both at home and at work.
Nanushyan said 70% of pregnant women are also exposed to second-hand smoke.
Legislative reforms proposed by the Health Ministry plan will enable the police to control regulation that bans smoking in indoor public places.
The draft law prohibiting tobacco smoking in public spaces imposes major fines for smoking in public catering facilities, hotels, cars, medical, cultural, entertainment centers and other spaces prohibited by law.
According to the World Health Organizations (WHO), tobacco kills more than 8 million people each year. More than 7 million of those deaths are the result of direct tobacco use while around 1.2 million are the result of non-smokers being exposed to second-hand smoke. Around 80% of the world's 1.1 billion smokers live in low- and middle-income countries.