In the capital city of Cambodia, Phnom Penh, banners carrying messages warning the dangers of tobacco use were put up to celebrate this year’s World No Tobacco Day between 24 May and 2 June. Posters were distributed to more than 200 governmental and non-governmental institutions. In addition, youth groups of the Cambodia Red Cross distributed “no smoking” signs to more than 200 restaurants, hotels, public transports and workplaces to alert policy makers and public about the burdens caused by tobacco use.
On 4 June, a workshop on the implementation of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) with particular attention on Article 6, “price and tax measures to reduce the demand for tobacco”, was organized by Ministry of Economy and Finance supported by WHO Cambodia, in collaboration with Ministry of Health, the Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance (SEATCA) and Cambodia Movement for Health (CMH). The workshop was participated by more 100 persons from Senate, National Assembly, relevant government ministries and institutes, universities, non-governmental organizations and media agencies. The workshop confirmed the importance and effectiveness of tobacco tax and further multisectoral efforts needed to strengthen measures to protect public health from tobacco use.
Following the workshop, a press conference was organized to further brief the media reporters how important tax plays in saving lives and generating more revenues. The conference was opened by Dr Mom Kong, Executive Director of CMH, followed by talks from three speakers: Attorney Keo Sokea, Chair of SK&P Law Firm, Dr Yel Daravuth, WHO Cambodia and Ms Bungon Rithipakdee, Director of SEATCA.
These events resulted in more than 20 media articles on TV, radio, newspaper and the internet. Furthermore, a short awareness raising video produced for the World No Tobacco Day was aired repeatedly by a local TV station for a month starting in the end of May and Executive Director of CMH was invited to some talk shows on TV and radio.