Despite several recent high profile raids, Cambodian Movement for Health operations director Mom Kong has called on the authorities to pursue legal action against those who promote the sale of e-cigarettes on social media.

Kong said that the confiscation and incineration of e-cigarettes, or vapes, contributes to a reduction in their use among young people.

“I applaud the authorities’ willingness to destroy confiscated stock, as it demonstrates the strength of their commitment to the fight against these devices,” he added.

He issued his statement just days after the Consumer Protection, Competition and Fraud Repression Directorate-General of the Ministry of Commerce – in cooperation with the National Authority for Combating Drugs and the Phnom Penh Municipal Police Commission – destroyed 7,200 boxes, or 288 cartons of confiscated vapes and related products in a December 30 bonfire.

The products that were incinerated were confiscated during an early November raid on a Phnom Penh warehouse.

“I support the cessation of the sale or distribution of all e-cigarettes, as stated in government guidelines. I implore the authorities to take action against those who promote their sale to the children of the Kingdom,” said Kong.

He warned that vendors had recently been targeting students who had recently passed the grade 12 high school exams, even offering special discount codes to them.

According to a report by WHO, 15,000 people die each year in Cambodia due to the use of tobacco products

Cambodia also suffers annual economic loss of 2.7 trillion riel ($663 million), which is equivalent to three per cent of the country’s GDP – all due to tobacco use.