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

  • Guards protest dismissals, reject claims of sharing naked photos of child

    Some 20 former security guards at the US Embassy in Phnom Penh protested on Tuesday against their dismissal. They accused their employers of falsely claiming they had viewed and shared child pornography from their mobile phones as grounds for their termination. In total, 32 personnel were dismissed

  • We’re going to Wisney World!

    More than 6,000 mostly Chinese attendees witnessed the inauguration ceremony of a $1 billion Sihanoukville resort project called Wisney World in the capital on Wednesday. The event on Koh Pich, attended by several senior Cambodian government officials, is a joint venture between China’s AMC International and

  • Funcinpec urges probe into deadly Preah Sihanouk accident

    THE Funcinpec party has urged the government, especially the Ministry of Interior, to investigate the traffic accident in Preah Sihanouk province which left Prince Norodom Ranariddh badly injured and his wife Ouk Phalla dead. Funcinpec Vice President You Hokry told reporters at Botum Votey pagoda,

  • Gov’t continues China tilt as ties with the US slide on ‘interference’ in Kingdom’s internal affairs

    CHINA has granted some $131 million in aid to the Cambodian military. It comes as yet another sign that the Kingdom is strengthening strategic ties with its Asian neighbour to counter increasingly cold relations with the United States. The aid was announced as part of a