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

  • Hundreds of children in hospital with dengue

    A serious dengue fever epidemic is affecting Cambodia, with nearly 600 children hospitalised in the five Kantha Bopha Children’s Hospitals on Monday alone, a statement posted on the Kantha Bopha Foundation’s official Facebook page said on Wednesday. Because Kantha Bopha Children’s Hospitals provide

  • Gov’t to probe Chinese exports to US via Sihanoukville

    The government is investigating allegations that Chinese companies are using Chinese-owned special economic zones in Cambodia to export goods to the US and avoid tariffs, said Ministry of Commerce spokesman Seang Thay. The move comes after US embassy spokesman Arend Zwartjes said the US had

  • Banh: The Khmer Rouge worse than sanctions and pressure

    Minister of National Defence Tea Banh said on Thursday that having sanctions and external pressure placed on Cambodia was not worse than life under the brutal Khmer Rouge regime. Tea Banh, who is also deputy prime minister, was speaking to military and ruling party officials

  • Using tech innovation to tackle Cambodia’s rampant road deaths

    Cutting corners, rampant phone use, speeding and driving through red lights – these are just some of the reasons why driving in Phnom Penh can often feel like a city-wide game of dodgems. The high death toll on the nation’s roads – combined with several high-profile