Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - The National Assembly should protect people from secondhand smoke

The National Assembly should protect people from secondhand smoke

The National Assembly should protect people from secondhand smoke

Dear Editor,
I would like to congratulate the Ministry of Interior on prohibiting smoking by civil servants in all offices under its supervision, from the central ministry down to the local commune council offices.

It is recognised that smoking damages health and makes people die younger. In recent years, Cambodia seems to have encouraged people to stop smoking, rather than in the 1980s and ’90s when the authorities were more likely to encourage the consumption of cigarettes.

In the past, it was tradition for a bride to offer a cigarette to the groom on the day of their wedding. After the wedding meal, guests were offered cigarettes – even though many of them didn’t know how to smoke. Monks would also be given gifts of cigarettes, which they would smoke while preaching or talking to lay people.

Both of these traditions seem to be dying out. A few years ago, Prime Minister Hun Sen declared he would quit smoking after one of his grandchildren complained about the smell on his clothes when he cuddled them. Even cyclo riders in Phnom Penh now campaign against smoking.

Unfortunately, it remains a threat to public health in Cambodia as more and more people are smoking in nightclubs, bars and restaurants.

Many motodop riders also seem to smoke too much, unleashing nasty nicotene-stained smiles on their passengers, and some teachers still smoke in the classroom.

When I challenge doctor friends of mine about why they smoke, they respond with “Puth krou kom trap, chbab krou sem york”, which translates as “Don’t follow teacher’s behaviour, but accept teacher’s theory.”

In my opinion, even though smoking is less prolific than in previous decades, the National Assembly should pass a law to ban smoking in public places.

In the meantime, doctors and teachers, in particular, should be the first to change their behaviour and set a good example for others to follow.

Tong Soprach
Phnom Penh

Send letters to: [email protected] or PO Box 146, Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The Post reserves the right to edit letters to a shorter length.
The views expressed above are solely the author’s and do not reflect any positions taken by The Phnom Penh Post.

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