The smoking epidemic poses the same threat as epidemics of diseases like H1N1 and coronavirus infection, sair Armenian deputy health minister Lena Nanushyan on Thursday.
The anti-tobacco bill is being discussed at the Armenian parliament on Thursday.
According to her, the smoking epidemic poses a serious threat to the whole world, and Armenia is no exception.
The epidemics of H1N1, bird flu, SARS, ebola, as well as the recently discovered new coronavirus, are serious challenges for the countries of the world. However, the smoking epidemic poses no less danger to the public, she added.
According to Lena Nanushyan, today there are many gaps in existing laws, as a result of which tobacco products are aggressively advertised, openly displayed in stores, cigarette packs often lie next to sweets, and they look very attractive - all this contributes to the spread of the smoking epidemic, including among young people.
The Deputy Minister noted that the Armenian population is everywhere exposed to tobacco smoke - in restaurants, in offices, and other public places.
She recalled that the restrictions introduced by the new law should apply to all tobacco products, including new e-gadgets, which, although they are positioned as safer, actually contain toxic, carcinogenic, addictive substances, and therefore they represent the same danger to human health as regular cigarettes.
According to her, there are no scientific grounds for making other decisions, moreover, other countries also follow this path and impose restrictions on the use of electronic cigarettes and other tobacco products.
As she added, any restrictions on smoking are a step towards the civilized world. While any delays and obstacles to the adoption of the anti-tobacco law are the responsibility for all deaths due to smoking.