The Ministry of Health announced strict guidelines for creating a smoke-free environment at all ministry headquarters yesterday, in accordance with the World Health Organisation’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control ratified by Cambodia in 2005.
Ung Phyrun, secretary of state at the Ministry of Health, said in a workshop on the implementation of the WHO guidelines that all ministries would be forced to implement a smoke-free environment to set an example in the country.
“We are urging all 27 ministries to do this job as soon as possible because right now we have 14 ministries that have already implemented it,” he said. “We [respect] the rights of the people who smoke but it must be in a place for smoking, to avoid someone indirectly getting [secondhand] smoke.” Mom Kong, executive director of Cambodia Movement for Health said that the state loses US$42 million per year through the treatment of diseases caused by tobacco use.
“This measure has an objective – to defend the person who does not smoke. They are indirectly affected by smoke. In the future all ministries, offices, restaurants, and public places will implement this practice as well,” he said.