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BMJ Open. 2014 Feb 27;4(2):e004410. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2013-004410.

Measuring Armenia's progress on the Tobacco Control Scale: an evaluation of tobacco control in an economy in transition, 2005-2009.

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Center for Health Services Research and Development, American University of Armenia, Yerevan, Armenia.



This study aimed to measure the 5-year progress in the implementation of WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) in Armenia by applying the Tobacco Control Scale, a rapid assessment tool developed to assess the strength of tobacco control policies in Europe.


Armenia, an economy in transition, has extreme smoking rates among men (62.5%) despite acceding to FCTC in 2004. However, little research has been carried out to evaluate Armenia's progress in tobacco control.


The Tobacco Control Scale total score was estimated for Armenia using the original methodology; however, a different source of data was used in estimating the subscores on tobacco price and tobacco control spending.


Armenia's total score on Tobacco Control Scale has considerably improved from 2005 to 2009, mostly due to larger health warnings and advertising ban, and increased public spending on tobacco control. The scores for smoke-free public places, advertising ban, health warnings and treatment categories were below the European average in 2005 and 2007, while the price score was higher. Neither total tobacco control score nor any of its components showed a significant predictive value in a simple regression analysis using the total score and subscores as predictors for log-transformed per capita tobacco consumption.


Higher than the European average price score for Armenia cannot be explained by the concept of affordability alone and may reflect a measurement error due to peculiarities of transition economies. The applicability of the Tobacco Control Scale could be limited to countries with mature economies, but not to transition countries such as Armenia with different social, political and economic environment. The scale modification, such as an adjustment for the policy enforcement and the effectiveness of public tobacco control spending along with alternative measures of affordability would be warranted to enhance its applicability in low-income and middle-income countries.


Epidemiology; Public Health

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