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CSOs urge permanent ban on alcohol advertising

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People drive past an advertisement for beer in the capital. Heng Chivoan

CSOs urge permanent ban on alcohol advertising

An alliance of nearly 40 civil society organisations lauded the government’s successful ban on all forms of alcoholic drink advertising during the Covid-19 outbreak but called for a permanently ban.

The government suspended the advertising of alcoholic drinks in the media for the whole April, including a ban on the sale and consumption across the country to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

A joint statement issued by the group on May 4 said that currently the number of Covid-19 cases in Cambodia was of great concern as the disease was spreading and threatening people’s lives.

The group emphasised that consumption of alcohol increased the risk of contracting Covid-19 and has a negative impact on health and social wellbeing, such as violence and the cause of more than 200 diseases, as confirmed by a report from the World Health Organisation in 2012.

Ministry of Information spokesman Meas Sophoan said on May 4 that the ministry had not decided on this request because Cambodia does not yet have a law on administering the consumption and sale of alcohol.

However, he stressed that given its success in suspending the distribution and sale of alcohol during the outbreak, the ministry will consider issuing further measures as the Covid-19 outbreak has not eased.

"Given the ongoing Covid-19 epidemic development, ... the ministry is looking into this," he said.

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