Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Cigarette warnings ‘effective’

Cigarette warnings ‘effective’

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Cigarette packs for sale in Daun Penh district, Phnom Penh on July 20. Heng Chivoan

Cigarette warnings ‘effective’

Picture and text warnings on cigarette packs have been effective in encouraging smokers to quit smoking, but failure to enforce companies to change the current health warning will not encourage people to quit smoking and smokers are more susceptible to complications caused by Covid-19.

Cambodia Movement for Health (CMH) said the Ministry of Health had announced that the warnings would be changed every two years. In compliance with the announcement, the ministry notified tobacco companies in December 2020 to change the warning, which did not happen.

CMH said on July 20 that according to the announcement, from August 1, all cigarette packs on the market must have new text and pictures as determined by the ministry.

“If the picture isn’t changed, the effectiveness of the health warning will be reduced because people have become accustomed to the same picture. So, the Ministry of Health decided that the health warning must be changed every two years,” the CMH said.

Ministry of Health spokeswoman Or Vandine could not be reached for comment on July 20.

Citing scientific research, CMH said putting a picture health warning on packs of cigarettes is highly effective. The 2018 study in Thailand on the effectiveness of picture health warnings on 85 per cent of cigarette packs revealed that the warning was highly effective and prevented people from starting to smoke among non-smokers.

In a separate case, a study by Australia’s Ministry of Health on the effectiveness of cigarette packs bearing a picture health warning revealed tobacco users learn about the impact of smoking. So, smokers started to worry about their health and they quit smoking.

CMH executive director Mom Kong told The Post on July 20 that a picture health warning on cigarette packs urged smokers to quit cigarettes and prevented women and children from smoking.

He added that quitting smoking also prevented the spread of Covid-19 as smoking increased the risk of transmission. If a smoker is infected, the complications caused by the disease are more severe.

“The application of this health warning is of prime importance, especially when we are currently combating Covid-19. Smoking cigarettes is recognised as a factor in transmitting Covid-19. When a smoker catches Covid-19, his condition will be more severe than a non-smoker, thereby leaving a lot of complications after treatment,” he stated.

Mom Kong believed that cigarette companies will follow the ministry’s advice. Because if they fail to follow it, they will be fined up to four million riel ($1,000) and the fine will increase twofold if they continue to disobey the advice.

According to the WHO FCTC Investment Case for Cambodia in 2019, tobacco products had endangered human health because half of tobacco users had fallen ill, were disabled and died prematurely. Approximately 15,000 Cambodian people die from tobacco use every year and costs Cambodia $1.4 trillion.

MOST VIEWED

  • Time to avert disastrous Covid situation: officials

    The Covid-19 situation in Cambodia is heading towards further large-scale community transmission as the total number of confirmed cases is nearing 61,000 and the death toll passed 900 on July 10, senior health officials warned. Ministry of Health spokeswoman Or Vandine expressed concern that the country was going

  • Visa A holders get to quarantine at Himawari Hotel

    The Ministry of Health has permitted foreign diplomats, UN and International NGO officials to undergo quarantine at Himawari Hotel in the capital in case they do not have a separate place suitable for this purpose, but the government would not be responsible for the expenses.

  • Baby saved as mother is lost to Covid

    Newborn baby Neth David has had a rough start in the world. His mother, Vong Daneth, was seven months pregnant when she contracted a severe case of Covid-19. When it became clear to her doctors that she would not survive, they performed a cesarean section

  • Jabs for kids bring hope for school reopenings

    Cambodia is tentatively planning to reopen schools – at least at the secondary level – when the vaccination of children aged 12-17 is completed, even though daily transmissions and deaths in other age groups remain high. Schools across the country have been suspended since March 20, one month

  • Two luxury hotels latest quarantine options for inbound travellers

    The Inter-Ministerial Committee to Combat Covid-19 has designated two luxury hotels as alternative quarantine options for travellers who wish to enter Cambodia through Phnom Penh International Airport – Sokha Phnom Penh Hotel & Residence and the Courtyard by Marriott Phnom Penh. In a notice detailing guidelines issued

  • Hun Sen: Get 12-17 age group ready for Covid jabs

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has told parents of children aged 12-17 in Phnom Penh and the provinces of Kandal and Preah Sihanouk to get them ready for vaccinations soon. “There is a need to vaccinate children and youths aged 12 to 17. According to the statistics provided