14 June 2012 – Siem Reap, Cambodia: The Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance (SEATCA) congratulates and lauds Cambodia’s APSARA Authority and Ministry of Tourism as the agencies on June 13 officially embarked on a policy and program to eradicate smoking in APSARA workplaces and in all 98 World Heritage Angkor temple sites.
SEATCA Director Bungon Ritthiphakdee stressed that it is not only important to disseminate a regulation on smoking bans, but to also strengthen enforcement and raise awareness about the damages caused by tobacco use and exposure to second hand smoke (SHS). “Cambodia has done their homework well and committed to ensuring all factors for a successful smoke-free program are considered.”
Joining the official declaration of Angkor sites and APSARA offices as Smoke-Free Zones were H.E Dr Ung Phyrun, Secretary of State of the Ministry of Health, H.E Bun Narith, Director General of the APSARA Authority, H.E Hor Sarun, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Tourism, Siem Reap Provincial Governor, Dr Pieter Van Maaren, WHO Cambodia Representative together with 300 delegates and participants representing various government institutions, NGO and relevant agencies participated in the event. SEATCA Director Bungon Ritthiphakdee presented on Smoke-Free ASEAN.
H.E Mey Marady, Deputy Director General(DDG) in charge of the Department of Angkor Tourism Development said: “We prepared well and are ready to publicize and officially declare workplaces and the surrounding compound of Angkor temple sites as smoke-free zone since months ago.”
The APSARA Authority had conducted trainings and disseminated the smoke-free circular, and established a technical working group (TWG) to disseminate smoke-free circular No. 155/12 dated 05 April, 2012 on Smoking Ban at workplaces and within the compound of Angkor temple sites. “Indeed this can be a good example for other historical sites to be smoke-free,” DDG H. E. Marady concluded.
Members of the TWG are: H.E Sok Leakhena, Deputy Director General in charge of Department of administration, personnel and logistic , Chairperson , H.E Mey Marady, Deputy Director General in charge of Department of Angkor Tourism Development, Vice chair , Mr. Yith Chandaroth, Director of Department of Culture, Museum, and Heritage Standard Development, Member, Mr. Dep Sothon, Officer of Angkor Tourism Development Department, Member.
No less than the ASEAN Secretary General Dr. Surin Pittsuwan supports the Smoke-free ASEAN and Smoke-free World Heritage Sites. Last March 2012, the Secretary General launched “10 countries, 1 Vision: A Smoke–free ASEAN” during the World Conference on Tobacco and Health in Singapore. He called on ASEAN’s governments to work together for clean air in all ASEAN cities for the benefit of the region’s 600 million people. He also declared the ASEAN Secretariat a 100 percent smoke-free workplace.
Smoke-free world heritage sites have been established in Melaka, Malaysia, Luang Prabang, Laos, Sukhothai Province in Thailand, and in Halong Bay, Vietnam.(ENDS).