Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Cigarette warnings ‘effective’

Cigarette warnings ‘effective’

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Cigarette packs for sale in Daun Penh district, Phnom Penh on July 20. Heng Chivoan

Cigarette warnings ‘effective’

Picture and text warnings on cigarette packs have been effective in encouraging smokers to quit smoking, but failure to enforce companies to change the current health warning will not encourage people to quit smoking and smokers are more susceptible to complications caused by Covid-19.

Cambodia Movement for Health (CMH) said the Ministry of Health had announced that the warnings would be changed every two years. In compliance with the announcement, the ministry notified tobacco companies in December 2020 to change the warning, which did not happen.

CMH said on July 20 that according to the announcement, from August 1, all cigarette packs on the market must have new text and pictures as determined by the ministry.

“If the picture isn’t changed, the effectiveness of the health warning will be reduced because people have become accustomed to the same picture. So, the Ministry of Health decided that the health warning must be changed every two years,” the CMH said.

Ministry of Health spokeswoman Or Vandine could not be reached for comment on July 20.

Citing scientific research, CMH said putting a picture health warning on packs of cigarettes is highly effective. The 2018 study in Thailand on the effectiveness of picture health warnings on 85 per cent of cigarette packs revealed that the warning was highly effective and prevented people from starting to smoke among non-smokers.

In a separate case, a study by Australia’s Ministry of Health on the effectiveness of cigarette packs bearing a picture health warning revealed tobacco users learn about the impact of smoking. So, smokers started to worry about their health and they quit smoking.

CMH executive director Mom Kong told The Post on July 20 that a picture health warning on cigarette packs urged smokers to quit cigarettes and prevented women and children from smoking.

He added that quitting smoking also prevented the spread of Covid-19 as smoking increased the risk of transmission. If a smoker is infected, the complications caused by the disease are more severe.

“The application of this health warning is of prime importance, especially when we are currently combating Covid-19. Smoking cigarettes is recognised as a factor in transmitting Covid-19. When a smoker catches Covid-19, his condition will be more severe than a non-smoker, thereby leaving a lot of complications after treatment,” he stated.

Mom Kong believed that cigarette companies will follow the ministry’s advice. Because if they fail to follow it, they will be fined up to four million riel ($1,000) and the fine will increase twofold if they continue to disobey the advice.

According to the WHO FCTC Investment Case for Cambodia in 2019, tobacco products had endangered human health because half of tobacco users had fallen ill, were disabled and died prematurely. Approximately 15,000 Cambodian people die from tobacco use every year and costs Cambodia $1.4 trillion.


  • Prince Norodom Ranariddh passes away at 77

    Prince Norodom Ranariddh, the second son of the late King Father Norodom Sihanouk and former First Prime Minister of Cambodia, has passed away in France at the age of 77. “Samdech Krom Preah Norodom Ranariddh has passed away this morning in France just after 9am Paris-time,”

  • Rise in planned flights lifts travel hopes

    Six airlines have applied to resume flights in December, while two others have put in for additional flights and routes, according to State Secretariat of Civil Aviation (SSCA) head Mao Havannall on November 29. These account for 43 new weekly domestic and international flights in December, up 16

  • General’s gun smuggling ring busted

    The Military Police sent six military officers to court on November 22 to face prosecution for possession of 105 illegal rifles and arms smuggling, while investigators say they are still hunting down additional accomplices. Sao Sokha, deputy commander of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces and commander of

  • Cambodia, Thailand to discuss border reopening

    Cambodian authorities from provinces along the Cambodia-Thailand border will meet with Thai counterparts to discuss reopening border checkpoints to facilitate travel, transfer of products and cross-border trade between the two countries. Banteay Meanchey provincial deputy governor Ly Sary said on November 22 that the provincial administration

  • Hun Sen: Manet to be candidate for prime minister

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has reaffirmed that his oldest son Hun Manet will be his successor as Prime Minister if he is elected. Speaking during the inauguration of a new sewage treatment facility in Preah Sihanouk province on December 2, Hun Sen said Manet will be

  • More Cambodians studying in US

    The number of Cambodian students studying at US colleges and universities in 2020-21 increased by 14.3 per cent over the previous year despite the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a recent US government report. The 2021 Open Doors report on International Educational Exchange showed that 848 Cambodian students studied