YEREVAN(Arka) – Smoking and its consequences cause several million dollars in losses to the Armenian economy, the head of the Institute of Children and Adolescent Health Sergey Sargsyan, said at a news conference.
“Research around the world has shown that health care spending in countries with a large number of smokers is 10-15% higher. In Armenia, more than 52% of adult men and 2% of women smoke, while the government spending on health is $400-500 million. Calculations show that due to this harmful habit Armenia loses tens of millions of dollars,” said Sargsyan.
Sargsyan also cited the results of a study conducted by the Institute of Children and Adolescents Health at the Arabkir Medical Center to find out the number of smokers among minors.
“We have been conducting research in this field since 2015. The last study, conducted in all regions of the country, showed that 18% of young men at least once tried to smoke. Some 4% of them became permanent smokers. In comparison with the previous study, there is a positive trend, because earlier figures were 30% and 8%, respectively,” added Sargsyan.
According to Sargsyan, number of smokers among girls is 1-2%. Usually, girls who tried smoking in their youth once never give up this habit.
According to WHO forecasts, a strict tobacco control policy in Armenia may cut the number of smokers by 42% in the next five years and by another 63% in the following 40 years to prevent 187 thousand premature deaths.