Children’s exposure to secondhand and thirdhand tobacco smoke in Armenia

This summer, I have the amazing opportunity of going to the American University of Armenia (AUA) in Yerevan, Armenia to conduct my very own research study on children’s exposure to secondhand and thirdhand tobacco smoke.  My mentor is Narine Movsisyan, MD, MPH, who is a senior researcher and leads all tobacco control projects at AUA’s Center for Health Services Research & Development (CHSR). In 2010, CHSR conducted a clinical trial with 250 households to reduce secondhand smoke exposure of children.  I am interested in assessing the effectiveness of the clinical trial, learning people’s practices regarding smoking inside the house, and identifying barriers that prevent families from having a smoke free home environment.
“Happy Smoke-Free Playground” sign at Lovers’  Park

I chose to go to Armenia because besides conducting my independent project, I have the chance to revisit my homeland and my family.  I am very excited about conducting the whole project in Armenian, which will involve reading, writing, and communicating with study participants in Armenian.  This will be the first time I will use my Armenian reading and writing skills so intensely ever since moving to the United States in 1999.

In the coming weeks, I will keep a blog of my research activities as well as any interesting experiences I may have.