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

  • Massive stingrays may live in Mekong’s deep pools

    US scientists have suggested that unexplored deep pools in the Mekong River in an area of Stung Treng could potentially be home to significant populations of giant freshwater stingrays, one of the world’s largest freshwater fish species. This comes as a fisherman hooked a 180

  • PM takes time to meet, greet Cambodians living in the US

    After landing in the US ahead of the ASEAN-US Special Summit, Prime Minister Hun Sen was received by over 1,000 Cambodian-Americans including political analysts who welcomed him with greetings, fist bumps and selfies. Hun Sen also met with analyst Mak Hoeun, who had allegedly spoken ill

  • PM reflects on shoe throwing: Free speech or act of violence?

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on May 17 questioned whether a man who threw a shoe at him while he was in the US was exercising freedom of expression or if it was an act of hostility. Hun Sen was referring to an incident last week when

  • Chinese tourists 2.0 – Coming anytime soon?

    Regional tourism is grappling with the absence of the prolific travellers and big spenders – the Chinese tourists. Cambodia, which has welcomed over two million Chinese tourists before Covid-19, is reeling from the economic loss despite being the first to fully open last November ‘To put

  • Prime Minister Hun Sen warmly welcomed by president Biden

    Prime Minister Hun Sen, as ASEAN chair, and other ASEAN leaders were warmly welcomed by US president Joe Biden as the ASEAN-US summit May 12-13 kicked off today in Washington. “This evening, I welcomed ASEAN leaders to the White House for the first time in

  • Third Makro outlet planned for capital’s Chroy Changvar

    Makro (Cambodia) Co Ltd is set to invest $12.7 million in its third Cambodian outlet, this time in northeast Phnom Penh’s Chroy Changvar district, an area dotted with high-end residential developments, as shopping behaviours continue to evolve in tandem with economic growth. The Cambodian Investment