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

  • Stock photo agencies cash in on Khmer Rouge tragedy
    Stock-photo companies selling images from S-21 raises ethics concerns

    A woman with short-cropped hair stares directly into the camera, her head cocked slightly to the side. On her lap is a sleeping infant just barely in the frame. The woman was the wife of a Khmer Rouge officer who fell out of favour, and

  • US think tank warns of China's 'ulterior motives'

    A US think tank on Tuesday warned that spreading Chinese investment in the Indo-Pacific follows a pattern of leveraging geopolitical influence at the expense of the nations receiving investment, including Cambodia. The report looks at a sample of 15 Chinese port development projects, noting that the

  • Defence Ministry denies weapons in smuggling case came from Cambodia

    After a Thai national was arrested last week for allegedly smuggling guns from Cambodia to Thailand, Cambodia's Defence Ministry has claimed the weapons seized during the arrest are not used in Cambodia, despite the fact that both types of rifle seized are commonly found in

  • More than three tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia seized in Mozambique

    A total of 3.5 tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia was seized by authorities in Mozambique late last week, according to the NGO Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). CITES' information was based on a report from the