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Thousands quit smoking

Mom Kunthear / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
The number of smokers has dropped significantly. KT/Chor Sokunthea

The number of men who smoke in Cambodia dropped by almost a third in the past decade, while women smokers nearly halved, according to a government report.
Figures showed that 48.98 percent of men aged 18 and older smoked ten years ago, but that has now dropped to 35.3 percent. 
The proportion of women who smoke fell from 20.53 percent to 11.6 percent in the same period, according to the National Centre for Health Promotion report, which was published yesterday.
The report said there were 1.68 million cigarette smokers in Cambodia, mostly people on low incomes. 
About $200 million is spent on cigarettes each year, while about $163 million is spent on treating tobacco-linked diseases.
The report added that about 60 percent of non-smokers in Cambodia say they are affected by smoking in their workplace and public areas.
Health Minister Mam Bunheng said tobacco use was an obstacle to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals, since it harmed public health, the economy and the environment.
“The Health Ministry wants to introduce a ban on smoking at work and in public places, prohibit tobacco advertising, and stop sponsorship and promotions by tobacco manufacturers,” he said.
Dr Bunheng added that officials also wanted to strengthen warnings and images printed on tobacco products and expand public health campaigns discouraging smoking.
The Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance last month called on the government to increase tax on tobacco to improve public health and reduce poverty in the country.

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