Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Experts back graphic warnings for smokers

Experts back graphic warnings for smokers

Cigarettes in identical olive-brown packets and largely covered with graphic health warnings
Cigarettes in identical olive-brown packets and largely covered with graphic health warnings, are displayed in a shop in Sydney 2012. AFP

Experts back graphic warnings for smokers

Health experts have thrown their weight behind a provision in the draft tobacco-control law that will require graphic health warnings to cover half the face of Cambodia’s cigarette packages.

“The warnings will encourage smokers to quit, because [they can see] the illnesses caused from smoking. It can help to protect children and young people from starting to use tobacco,” said Chea Chor Daphea, vice president of the National Center for Health Promotion, at a workshop yesterday on the impacts of tobacco organised by the Ministry of Health.

Daphea said that images are significantly more effective than text for providing public information about the hazards of smoking and are expected to help combat tobacco-related deaths, which kill 10,000 Cambodians annually. Worldwide, tobacco is projected to cause 8 million annual deaths by 2030.

“[The pictures] are very important, because it provides information to the people. If they cannot read, they can see: smoking causes lung cancer,” said Dr Yel Daravuth, technial officer for the World Health Organization’s Tobacco-Free Initiative.

According to article 10 of the law – first drafted in 2003 – the images must cover 50 per cent of the cigarette box. The WHO is calling on the government to enact the regulation with haste, Daravuth said.

“In other countries, tobacco manufacturers tried to prevent picture warnings, saying there isn’t clear evidence about the benefits of the picture and that they cause smuggling, but this citation is not accepted by WHO,” he said, explaining that visual messages create a mental cue and positively reinforce quitting.

According to the WHO, Cambodia is the only ASEAN country yet to pass smoking legislation. Currently, two million Cambodians smoke.

The law is expected to be discussed at the National Assembly in late April.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY REBECCA MOSS

RECOMMENDED STORIES

  • Breaking: PM says prominent human rights NGO ‘must close’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has instructed the Interior Ministry to investigate the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) and potentially close it “because they follow foreigners”, appearing to link the rights group to the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party's purported “revolution”. The CNRP - the

  • Rainsy and Sokha ‘would already be dead’: PM

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Sunday appeared to suggest he would have assassinated opposition leaders Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha had he known they were promising to “organise a new government” in the aftermath of the disputed 2013 national elections. In a clip from his speech

  • Massive ceremony at Angkor Wat will show ‘Cambodia not in anarchy’: PM

    Government officials, thousands of monks and Prime Minister Hun Sen himself will hold a massive prayer ceremony at Angkor Wat in early December to highlight the Kingdom’s continuing “peace, independence and political stability”, a spectacle observers said was designed to disguise the deterioration of

  • PM tells workers CNRP is to blame for any sanctions

    In a speech to workers yesterday, Prime Minister Hun Sen pinned the blame for any damage inflicted on Cambodia’s garment industry by potential economic sanctions squarely on the opposition party. “You must remember clearly that if the purchase orders are reduced, it is all