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E-cigarette back in spotlight amid virus pandemic

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
A screenshot of illustrative photo of a man smoking an electronic cigarette.

E-cigarette back in spotlight amid virus pandemic

The Ministry of Health’s Department of Communicable Disease (DCD) department has released a video about the effects of smoking, while the NGO Cambodia Movement for Health (CMH) warned against the use of electronic cigarettes or vape.

The short video clip that was posted on the CDC’s Facebook page last week conveyed a message that smoking affects and destroys the lungs and other parts of the body and increases the chance of Covid-19 infection.

The CDC said smokers are vulnerable to getting infected more than non-smokers. “It is the right thing that you decide to quit smoking from now. Quitting smoking can rejuvenate lung health by 30 per cent within two or three weeks,” the CDC message said.

At a press conference on Monday, the CMH warned that students are at risk of contracting Covid-19 and other diseases due to vaping. It said sharing the same smoking tools increases the chance of Covid-19 transmission.

“The police must strengthen measures to ban the sale of electronic cigarettes,” it said.

Vaping and shisha were banned by the National Authority for Combating Drugs (NACD) in 2014. But the CMH said there is still advertising on social media platforms that describe e-cigarettes as a “quit smoking machine”. Shisha, often associated with the Middle East, involves smoking tobacco through a bowl with a hose or tube.

In a directive dated February 25 that year, the NACD said while the products do not contain addictive substances banned by Cambodian laws, they do contain high-synthetic nicotine that affects smokers’ health.

NACD secretary-general Meas Virith confirmed to The Post on Tuesday that e-cigarettes are not allowed in Cambodia. He said the sale, marketing and use of the product are against the law.

“It is a reasonable concern that using these tools can affect health,” he said.

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