L-R: Dr. Prakit Vathesatogkit, Secretary General, ASH-Thailand; H.E. Chhay Aun, Member of ECOSOCC (Economic Social and Cultural Council) of the Council of Ministers , H.E. Dr.Ung Phyrun, Secretary of State, Ministry of Health; DR Pieter JM van Maaren, WHO Cambodia Representative; Dr. Yel Daravuth, National Professional Officer, WHO-Cambodia
The Consultation Workshop on General Situation of Tobacco Control organized by the Ministry of Health, Cambodia, Cambodia Movement for Health, WHO and SEATCA was held last 22 December 2011, in Phnom Penh. Primary objective is to discuss and advocate for the current draft of tobacco control law. In this meeting, H.E. Dr.Ung Phyrun, Secretary of State, Ministry of Health chaired the sessions which was participated in by representatives from various ministries and civil society such as Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Commerce, Ministry of Economic and Social, Mother and Child Department, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Industry, Ministry of Tourism and ADRA. In addition, Professor Prakit Vathesatogkit, chair of the National Committee on Tobacco Control Thailand and Ms. Bungon Rithipakdee, SEATCA Director were invited to provide technical input on the current draft law that has been revised for quite a number of times in the last 10 years.
The technical inputs focused on closing the law loopholes and elucidating the unclear articles, as well as integrating the international standard of the WHO FCTC in the current draft. Key articles, such as cigarette retail licensing and the areas of responsibility for tobacco control activities were the main topics of discussions. It gained a lot of interest and from the participants. It has been a long process for Cambodia to develop the draft tobacco control law. Nonetheless, with the support from various ministries, civil society and regional experts from this meeting, it was able to provide the government with substantive comments and evidences to make progress in the finalization of the draft tobacco control law.(Sophapan Ratanachena)