The National Authority for Combating Drugs (NACD) has taken steps to combat drug and e-cigarette-related issues in the Kingdom’s schools, rolling out a public education programme to 600 staff and Grade 10 and 11 students at a private school in Tuol Kork.

In collaboration with the management of American Intercon School’s Toul Kork campus, NACD officials conducted the outreach programme as part of its multifaceted anti-drug strategy.

Lim Tong Huot, director of the NACD’s Legislation, Education, and Rehabilitation Department, said that the dissemination of information aimed to enhance the students’ knowledge and give them the tools they need to protect themselves from any untoward encounters they may have with drugs or e-cigarettes in the community.

By doing so, the NACD hopes to prevent students from getting involved in these issues, which could lead to risks to their health, and that of their families.

“Many 16- to 17-year-olds are at the stage of development when are curious about new experiences and want to try new things. We must all come together to guide teenagers towards positive experiences. We need to lead them to a brighter future while keeping them away from vices, particularly the problems associated with drugs and e-cigarettes,” Tong Huot explained.

He emphasised the importance of the students’ active participation in sharing their knowledge, experiences, and questions about these issues. By receiving accurate information about the impacts of drugs and e-cigarettes, young people will have the ability to make informed decisions and avoid developing future problems as adults.

Mom Kong, the executive director of Cambodia Movement for Health (CMH), praised the NACD for educating students about the consequences of drug and e-cigarette use.

He commended the effort as a positive indication of the NACD and the government’s commitment to curbing drug and e-cigarette use within schools. Kong believed that such education would effectively prevent children and young people from engaging in these harmful habits.

He also suggested that for the education to be even more effective, the NACD or relevant authorities should closely monitor online and social media sales of e-cigarettes. Kong pointed out the increasing presence of e-cigarette advertisements on platforms like Telegram, Facebook, and TikTok.

He called on the NACD to tighten regulations on e-cigarette imports, citing the potential damage to the brain, lungs, and liver caused by these products.