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Cigarette law crackdown

THE Ministry of Health announced yesterday that further steps will be taken against tobacco companies failing to comply with new regulations mandating the inclusion of health warnings on cigarette packaging.

Khun Sokrin, director of the health promotion centre at the Ministry of Health, told a health conference that noncompliant firms would first receive a warning letter from the Minister of Health.

Firms continuing to ignore the rules would face temporary suspension of their operations, or, as a final resort, permanent closure, said Ung Phyron, a secretary of state at the ministry.

Although most major Cambodian tobacco manufacturers and importers have adhered to the new regulations, which came into affect in July, the government currently faces problems identifying smaller firms that have failed to comply.

Nal Vichet, director of complaints resolution at the Ministry of Commerce, said some tobacco importers are not officially registered or – if registered – provide misleading import figures.  

“Conducting research to find out which companies have complied is going to be a challenging and expensive process,” said Mark Schwisowm of the Adventist Development and Relief Agency.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY DENISE HRUBY

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