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Stricter enforcements over e-cigarettes

Pech Sotheary / Khmer Times Share:
The Cambodia Movement for Health says smoking e-cigarettes may cause seizures or disorientation. Hellokrupet

The Cambodia Movement for Health has asked relevant ministries to ban advertisements selling e-cigarettes on social media as it is detrimental to people’s health. The use of e-cigarettes has a serious impact on the well-being of both smokers and non-smokers as inhaling second-hand smoke can cause damage to the lungs, it said.

According to a press release from the Cambodia Movement for Health on Wednesday, e-cigarettes have been falsely described by the tobacco industry as a device to help smokers quit, which they claim are safer and cleaner than regular cigarettes. In order to attract the younger generation and to make it more ‘cool’ to be a smoker, the tobacco industry now produces various flavours targeted to them.

The organisation continued that, “To date, there is no evidence that shows or confirms e-cigarettes as an aid to help smokers quit. In contrast, the use of e-cigarettes has the same health effects as regular cigarettes. The use of e-cigarettes can drive young people to drop out of school, experiment with drugs and commit other misconducts in society.”

CMH added that despite the continuous actions taken by the authorities, advertisements that promote e-cigarettes on social media, including Facebook and YouTube, are still being allowed which is a major concern as it can lead to a social problem and crisis in the near future like being drawn to drugs.

According to the report obtained by the organisation from other sources, misinformation about e-cigarettes as means to help smokers quit the habit has attracted 60 percent among the 1.1 billion smokers worldwide who want to quit, leading them to turn to the use of e-cigarettes. In some cases, where both e-cigarettes and regular cigarettes are used together, it could lead to worse health problems.

Cambodia Movement for Health executive director Mom Kong could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Chhea Chhordaphea, Director of the Ministry of Health’s National Centre for Health Promotion, said yesterday e-cigarettes still contain nicotine, other additives and toxic substances which are harmful to smokers’ and non-smokers’ well-being.

She noted with such an impact, the government had previously banned and prevented imports and also cracked down on the sale of this type of cigarettes.

“The ministry and the National Authority for Combating Drugs have also banned it a long time ago through continuous crackdowns,” said Ms Chhordaphea.

“We have also monitored and cracked down directly on online advertising, so we are continuously keeping an eye on the ill effects of these products,” she added.

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