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Ministry seeks cigarette warnings

Ministry of Health officials said yesterday that 29 percent of cigarette packets involved in a survey did not carry a public health warning mandated by ministerial sub-decree.

A Ministry of Health study of 5,000 cigarette packets across 88 brands revealed that only 71 percent of cigarette packages carried the health warning.

Ung Phyrun, secretary of state at the Ministry of Health, said at an inter-ministerial committee meeting in Phnom Penh yesterday that the results showed that a sub-decree on the warnings was not being fully implemented.

“After passing the sub-decree, I saw that tobacco products for sale in the market have yet to display the mandatory health warning,” said Ung Phyrun.

In 2009, the government approved a sub-decree making it mandatory for cigarette packages – both local and imported – to feature health warnings in Khmer, in compliance with Article 11 of the World Health Organisation’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, ratified by Cambodia in 2005.

The sub-decree came into effect on July 20 last year.

Sin Sovann, director of the technical bureau of the National Health Centre at the Health Ministry, said yesterday that the research was conducted in populous and economically developed areas in Phnom Penh, Kampong Cham, Siem Reap, Preah Sihanouk, and Battambang provinces.

“The research was done in 250 shops, 250 markets and 50 restaurants that sold cigarettes from local and foreign companies,” said Sin Sovann, adding that ongoing research was needed to monitor compliance with the sub-decree.

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