Cambodia: new law on tobacco control passed

The Cambodian National Assembly passed the country’s first ever law on tobacco control on 8 April 2015. The law was approved unanimously by all political parties. Later in the month, on 30 April 2015, the Plenary Session of the Senate also ratified the Law. 

While certain forms of advertisement as well as smoking in workplaces and public spaces had already been banned before by decrees, the new law tackles the tobacco epidemic on a wide variety of fronts: Import and sales are restricted, including bans on sales to minors and pregnant women. Advertisement is restricted and producers are required to include both pictorial warnings and written texts on the packaging. In addition, the chemical components of tobacco products have to be revealed by the producers. As the growth of tobacco is a considerable economic factor in some provinces of Cambodia, the new law also arranges for financial assistance to growers in order to shift their production to alternative crops.

The country thus adapts its legislation in many fields to the requirements of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control which the country has ratified in 2005. Yel Daravuth, National Professional Officer at the WHO in Cambodia, expressed his content with the new law while emphasizing the importance of full enforcement.

Prevalence of smoking is high especially among men in Cambodia, 39.1% of which are daily smokers according to the country’s latest report to the FCTC Convention Secretariat. It is estimated that around 10.000 Cambodians die from tobacco related diseases every year.

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