205321 Smoke-free worksites in Armenia: A long way to go

Monday, November 9, 2009

Narine Movsisyan, MD, MPH , American University of Armenia, Yerevan, Armenia
Hana Ross , International Tobacco Control Research Program, American Cancer Society, Atlanta, GA
Michael E. Thompson, MS, DrPH , Department of Public Health Sciences, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Charlotte, NC

In March 2005, Armenia enacted legislation protecting employees from secondhand smoke. This research was the first attempt to evaluate the process of implementing smoke-free worksite policies.


Mixed methods were used, including focus group discussions with worksite administrators to explore their beliefs, attitudes and practices related to worksite smoking, and a survey. Stratified random sampling was used in the survey of 243 worksites, representing government/municipal, health, educational, culture, and business institutions in three largest cities in June 2005.


Smoking-related practices differed significantly across institutions. More than half of the managers (55.6%) reported having partial restrictions and 37.0% reported having completely smoke-free workplaces. The majority of government and industrial workplaces did not have smoke-free policies, while about a half of medical and educational institutions reported being smoke-free. Nevertheless, violations were observed in 27.8% of workplaces reported as smoke-free. Only 38.0% of managers reported that they were aware of the legal protection from exposure to second-hand smoke.


The study demonstrated low awareness among mid-level administrators of new national regulations on worksite smoking. However, adherence to smoke-free worksite policies did not relate to administrators' awareness. The research also revealed widespread confusion between “indoor smoking bans” and “designated smoking areas” among the respondents. These results suggest that policy implementation in post-soviet countries may differ from that in industrialized countries. Future interventions should include targeted public communication about newly adopted legislation and effective monitoring and enforcement mechanisms. Future research should assess the economic costs and benefits of implementing smoke-free policies.

Learning Objectives:
Describe worksite smoking related policies and practices among managers and administrators in Armenia. Discuss the obstacles for the implementation of smoke-free policies at worksites in Armenia. Make recommendations for improving the level of of protection from secondhand smoke worksite exposure.

Keywords: Tobacco Control, Worksite

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a public health researcher with relevant expertise and background working in the academic institution.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.