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PM tells Cambodians if he can quit, so can they

A billboard in Phnom Penh cautions about the dangers of smoking.
A billboard in Phnom Penh cautions about the dangers of smoking. Pha Lina

PM tells Cambodians if he can quit, so can they

Prime Minister Hun Sen yesterday took to Facebook to call on Cambodians to follow his example in quitting smoking.

The premier had previously tried to pack in the habit numerous times, and after 22 months smoke free, he said, his 12th try seems to have succeeded. Calling on Cambodia’s 2.3 million smokers to quit with him, the premier said his entreaties would have been hollow had he not undertaken the challenge himself.

“If I cannot make my house clean, how can I clean somebody else’s house?” he asked in yesterday’s post.

On average, 30 Cambodians die every day of smoking-related complications, and despite the government’s passage of a tobacco control law last year, key provisions still go unenforced.

“Even with the tobacco law passed, we still see advertisements in bars, in cafes, in restaurants. I think to induce young people to quit we need to ban advertising,” said Mom Kong, of the Cambodian Movement for Health, who also noted that the premier’s message was a positive step.

However, restrictions on ads were included in the new law, and Kong said yesterday that he was optimistic that “the government is on the way to implementing it”.

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