Ministers Approve First Draft Law on Tobacco

BY  | DECEMBER 6, 2014

The Council of Ministers on Friday approved a draft of the country’s first law on tobacco regulation, which includes articles addressing taxes, advertising and health warnings.

The 49-article draft law, which was prepared by the Health Ministry, aims to reduce the negative effects smoking has on the population. 

A statement released by the Council of Ministers Friday said that $100 million is spent on cigarettes annually in Cambodia and that far more is spent on treating smoking-related illnesses.

Within the draft law are chapters relating to the amount of tax imposed on cigarettes and a requirement for companies to display health warnings on cigarette packs.

Phay Siphan, spokesman for the Council of Ministers, wrote on his Facebook page that the draft law was compiled after consultations with health experts. Neither Mr. Siphan nor Health Ministry officials could be reached to elaborate on the details of the draft law.

Friday’s session was chaired by Prime Minister Hun Sen, who said in September he had given up smoking after 10 failed attempts over the past 14 years.

The prime minister told a crowd of university students that he had once decided against signing a sub-decree that would prevent smoking in public places because he liked to smoke at Council of Ministers meetings.

“If I have to leave the meeting room to smoke a cigarette, would there be someone there to listen to me?” Mr. Hun Sen said.

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