Healthcare Minister “very resolute” in passing smoking ban
YEREVAN, NOVEMBER 7, ARMENPRESS. The proposed bill on imposing a smoking ban in public spaces will be debated in the Economic Affairs Committee in Parliament today.
Minister of Healthcare Arsen Torosyan said on Facebook that a number of discussions with all factions of parliament have already taken place before, as well as at the Healthcare and Social Affairs Committee.
According to Torosyan, lawmakers have been comprehensively and substantially briefed on both the healthcare and economic need for adopting the anti-tobacco bill.
“Regrettably, some of our colleagues – being smokers and having nicotine addiction, which by the way goes away rather quickly, or with other motives, failed to completely let go of their un-healthcare motives of opposing the necessity for adopting the law. By all means they attempted to mention that the law “is anachronical and our society isn’t ready for it, that it doesn’t take into account the negative impact on citizens, that it doesn’t take into account the interests of people working in tobacco industry, that e-cigarettes are safe and you don’t have to equate them to the ordinary ones or even that the link between smoking and cancer isn’t proven”. Certainly, hearing this from our colleagues in parliament and not from tobacco producers was rather comical, but we have what we have. In any case, we are very resolute in passing this bill and we hope that parliament will place Armenia among the countries that think about the health of their own citizens and won’t leave it as a, so to say, “regional ashtray” or “tobacco paradise”, the minister said.
Edited and translated by Stepan Kocharyan