Graduated smoking fines

| January 29, 2018

Tobacco smoking will be banned in public places in Armenia under a bill proposed by the Ministry of Health, according to a story in The Jam News, Yerevan.

However, it wasn’t clear whether or not the ban would spill over into private spheres as well. The story described fines for smoking in cars, as distinct from smoking in public transport vehicles, though it was possible these ‘cars’ referred to work vehicles.

The ban is part of a new anti-smoking strategy adopted by the government in August. The strategy is aimed at reducing ‘smoking rates by 30-40 percent’.

“Over 55 percent of adult men and three percent of women in Armenia are regular smokers,” said the Minister of Health, Levon Altunyan. “Therefore, we propose a ban on smoking in public places.

“There won’t be separate smoking areas in restaurants because the aim of this anti-smoking measure is to ensure that nobody smokes at all rather than just to prevent smoking in the presence of non-smokers.”

Nevertheless, special outdoor facilities will be made available for smoking.

Under the bill, smokers would be fined an amount based on the place where they were found smoking; so those found smoking in a car would face a fine of AMD50,000 (US$104), while those found smoking on public transport or in a taxi would be liable to a fine of AMD100,000 (US$208), and those found smoking in an elevator, café or office would face a fine of AMD250,000 (US$520).

Meanwhile, cigarette retailers who sell loose cigarettes will face a fine of AMD300,000 (USD 624), while those who sell cigarettes within 100-meters of schools would be liable to a fine of AMD500,000 (US$1,040).

Employers who fail to display a ‘no smoking’ sign in their workplaces will face a fine of AMD100,000, while those who fail to ban smoking will be liable to a fine of AMD500,000.


Category: Breaking News, People, Regulation

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