Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Minister vows action against tobacco firms

Minister vows action against tobacco firms

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
A local shop selling different brands of cigrattes in Phnom Penh. Recently the Ministry of Health issued a warning to Tobacco companies. Heng Chivoan

Minister vows action against tobacco firms

Within almost six months of a sub-decree going into effect requiring graphic warnings on all cigarette packages, Health Minister Mam Bunheng issued a second warning this month to tobacco companies not complying with the regulations, threatening to take legal action.

The January 16 warning follows a first notice issued in early October prompted by companies’ low compliance with the sub-decree, which went into effect in July. Under the rules, graphic photos must cover 50 percent of cigarette packets, and a written message in Khmer must cover another 5 percent.

Those found violating the rules are subject to fines of about $1,000 for tobacco companies, $500 for distributors and wholesalers, and $2.50 for retailers.

Bunheng said companies are still flouting the regulations.

“The ministry will take legal action soon for companies that don’t obey the law and sub-decree,” Bunheng said in the warning. “The ministry . . . will not issue a third warning.”

Ung Phyrun, secretary of state at the Ministry of Health, said the ministry will only warn companies twice before punishing them. “This is the principle to make everyone obey the law, to make the companies aware of this,” he said.

Phyrun would not directly address why companies are still non-compliant. “We will talk to all the [tobacco] companies that are doing [business] in Cambodia,” he said.

British-American Tobacco, which controls about 40.3 percent of the market, couldn’t be reached for comment.

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