Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Minister vows action against tobacco firms

Minister vows action against tobacco firms

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
A local shop selling different brands of cigrattes in Phnom Penh. Recently the Ministry of Health issued a warning to Tobacco companies. Heng Chivoan

Minister vows action against tobacco firms

Within almost six months of a sub-decree going into effect requiring graphic warnings on all cigarette packages, Health Minister Mam Bunheng issued a second warning this month to tobacco companies not complying with the regulations, threatening to take legal action.

The January 16 warning follows a first notice issued in early October prompted by companies’ low compliance with the sub-decree, which went into effect in July. Under the rules, graphic photos must cover 50 percent of cigarette packets, and a written message in Khmer must cover another 5 percent.

Those found violating the rules are subject to fines of about $1,000 for tobacco companies, $500 for distributors and wholesalers, and $2.50 for retailers.

Bunheng said companies are still flouting the regulations.

“The ministry will take legal action soon for companies that don’t obey the law and sub-decree,” Bunheng said in the warning. “The ministry . . . will not issue a third warning.”

Ung Phyrun, secretary of state at the Ministry of Health, said the ministry will only warn companies twice before punishing them. “This is the principle to make everyone obey the law, to make the companies aware of this,” he said.

Phyrun would not directly address why companies are still non-compliant. “We will talk to all the [tobacco] companies that are doing [business] in Cambodia,” he said.

British-American Tobacco, which controls about 40.3 percent of the market, couldn’t be reached for comment.

MOST VIEWED

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • Shipwreck found off coast of Koh Kong

    Royal Cambodian Navy researchers are working to identify a decades-old shipwreck found earlier this month off the coast of Koh Kong province. Divers found the 70-metre-long wreck on April 4 about a mile from Koh Chhlam island, according to Navy officials. Deputy Navy Commander Tea Sokha,