Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - The National Assembly should protect people from secondhand smoke

The National Assembly should protect people from secondhand smoke

The National Assembly should protect people from secondhand smoke

Dear Editor,
I would like to congratulate the Ministry of Interior on prohibiting smoking by civil servants in all offices under its supervision, from the central ministry down to the local commune council offices.

It is recognised that smoking damages health and makes people die younger. In recent years, Cambodia seems to have encouraged people to stop smoking, rather than in the 1980s and ’90s when the authorities were more likely to encourage the consumption of cigarettes.

In the past, it was tradition for a bride to offer a cigarette to the groom on the day of their wedding. After the wedding meal, guests were offered cigarettes – even though many of them didn’t know how to smoke. Monks would also be given gifts of cigarettes, which they would smoke while preaching or talking to lay people.

Both of these traditions seem to be dying out. A few years ago, Prime Minister Hun Sen declared he would quit smoking after one of his grandchildren complained about the smell on his clothes when he cuddled them. Even cyclo riders in Phnom Penh now campaign against smoking.

Unfortunately, it remains a threat to public health in Cambodia as more and more people are smoking in nightclubs, bars and restaurants.

Many motodop riders also seem to smoke too much, unleashing nasty nicotene-stained smiles on their passengers, and some teachers still smoke in the classroom.

When I challenge doctor friends of mine about why they smoke, they respond with “Puth krou kom trap, chbab krou sem york”, which translates as “Don’t follow teacher’s behaviour, but accept teacher’s theory.”

In my opinion, even though smoking is less prolific than in previous decades, the National Assembly should pass a law to ban smoking in public places.

In the meantime, doctors and teachers, in particular, should be the first to change their behaviour and set a good example for others to follow.

Tong Soprach
Phnom Penh

Send letters to: [email protected] or PO Box 146, Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The Post reserves the right to edit letters to a shorter length.
The views expressed above are solely the author’s and do not reflect any positions taken by The Phnom Penh Post.

MOST VIEWED

  • Omicron patients can stay home: PM

    The Ministry of Health has issued a directive on the treatment of people who have tested positive for the highly transmissible Omicron coronavirus variant, following a suggestion from Prime Minister Hun Sen on the night of January 21. The directive permits home quarantine for those who

  • The effects of the USD interest rate hike on Cambodian economy

    Experts weigh in on the effect of a potential interest rate expansion by the US Federal Reserve on a highly dollarised Cambodia Anticipation of the US Federal Reserve’s interest rate hike in March is putting developing economies on edge, a recent blog post by

  • Cambodia’s first ever anime festival kicks off Jan 22 at capital’s F3 centre

    Phnom Penh's first ever Anime Festival will bring together fans, artists, shops and other local businesses with ties to the Japanese animation style for cosplay competitions, online games, pop-up shops and more on January 22, with Friends Futures Factory (F3) hosting. F3 is a project that

  • Demining rat ‘hero’ Magawa dead at 8

    A landmine-hunting rat that was awarded a gold medal for heroism for clearing ordnance from the Cambodian countryside has died, his charity said on January 11. Magawa, a giant African pouched rat originally from Tanzania, helped clear mines from about 225,000sqm of land – the equivalent of 42

  • Hun Sen gets 4th Covid shot, urges compatriots to follow

    Prime Minister Hun Sen and his wife Bun Rany on January 14 received their fourth dose of Covid-19 vaccine and called on compatriots to follow suit as the Omicron coronavirus variant continues to spread in the community. This marks the launch of Cambodia's fourth-dose vaccination campaign,

  • Fourth dose Covid booster drive jabs 43K in two days

    In the first two days of the fourth-dose Covid-19 vaccination campaign, more than 43,000 people volunteered to get the jabs, while over 4.6 million people have received a third shot. Health ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine said that fourth-dose vaccinations, which began on January 14 exclusively with the Pfizer