Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Cigarettes must have warning pics by July

Cigarettes must have warning pics by July

An employee in a shop in Sydney, Australia adjusts packaged cigarettes, which must be sold in identical olive-brown packets with graphic health warnings. AFP
An employee in a shop in Sydney, Australia adjusts packaged cigarettes, which must be sold in identical olive-brown packets with graphic health warnings. AFP

Cigarettes must have warning pics by July

The government in July will begin to issue fines to tobacco companies, distributors and retailers that don’t display a graphic warning on cigarette packages.

A group of NGOs held a press conference yesterday to disseminate information on the fines in an effort to warn the industry. Tobacco companies that fail to abide by the law beginning July 23 will face a 4 million riel (about $1,000) fine, distributors and wholesalers will face a 2 million riel fine and retailers will face a 10,000 riel fine.

The graphic warnings will need to cover 50 per cent of the cigarette packets, with a written message in Khmer covering another 5 per cent.

“People are willing to quit smoking when they see the warnings,” said Dr Mom Kong, director of the Cambodia Movement for Health. “It also prevents children from picking up smoking; children are less attracted [to the cigarettes].”

Currently, about 30 per cent of the packets are covered with a text message only.

Chan Samang, who sells cigarettes at Phsar Kandal, said she’s willing to comply with the new law, but it’s up to the companies to publish the images on their products. “When they publish [the images] on their products, we will continue to sell their products with the warnings,” she said.

Dr Yel Daravuth, a technical officer at WHO Cambodia, said graphic images have shown to be effective in other countries, such as Thailand, which has seen a roughly 20 per cent increase in the number of smokers interested in quitting over the last few years. “They are also effective for people who can’t read,” he said, noting Cambodia’s comparatively low literacy rates.

Additional reporting by Yesenia Amaro

A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that Thailand had seen a 20 per cent decrease in the number of smokers in recent years. In fact, it has seen a 20 per cent increase in the number of smokers interested in quitting. The Post apologises for any confusion caused.

MOST VIEWED

  • Massive stingrays may live in Mekong’s deep pools

    US scientists have suggested that unexplored deep pools in the Mekong River in an area of Stung Treng could potentially be home to significant populations of giant freshwater stingrays, one of the world’s largest freshwater fish species. This comes as a fisherman hooked a 180

  • PM takes time to meet, greet Cambodians living in the US

    After landing in the US ahead of the ASEAN-US Special Summit, Prime Minister Hun Sen was received by over 1,000 Cambodian-Americans including political analysts who welcomed him with greetings, fist bumps and selfies. Hun Sen also met with analyst Mak Hoeun, who had allegedly spoken ill

  • PM reflects on shoe throwing: Free speech or act of violence?

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on May 17 questioned whether a man who threw a shoe at him while he was in the US was exercising freedom of expression or if it was an act of hostility. Hun Sen was referring to an incident last week when

  • Chinese tourists 2.0 – Coming anytime soon?

    Regional tourism is grappling with the absence of the prolific travellers and big spenders – the Chinese tourists. Cambodia, which has welcomed over two million Chinese tourists before Covid-19, is reeling from the economic loss despite being the first to fully open last November ‘To put

  • Prime Minister Hun Sen warmly welcomed by president Biden

    Prime Minister Hun Sen, as ASEAN chair, and other ASEAN leaders were warmly welcomed by US president Joe Biden as the ASEAN-US summit May 12-13 kicked off today in Washington. “This evening, I welcomed ASEAN leaders to the White House for the first time in

  • Third Makro outlet planned for capital’s Chroy Changvar

    Makro (Cambodia) Co Ltd is set to invest $12.7 million in its third Cambodian outlet, this time in northeast Phnom Penh’s Chroy Changvar district, an area dotted with high-end residential developments, as shopping behaviours continue to evolve in tandem with economic growth. The Cambodian Investment