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PM Quits Smoking, Again

Muny Sithyna / Khmer Times Share:
Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen takes a cigarette break during rice farming in 2008. (Photo: Chor Sokunthea/Reuters)

PHNOM PENH (Khmer Times) –  Prime Minister Hun Sen, a lifetime chain smoker, announced Thursday that he has kicked the habit – after nearly 15 years of trying.

At the graduation ceremony of Chamroeun University of Poly-Technology, Mr. Hun Sen officially announced that he has given  up smoking.

“At [one of my children’s] wedding, I promised in front of the guests and my children that I would stop smoking after I had a grandchild. Now my grandchild is going to be 15 years old,” said Mr. Hun Sen.

Noting that his house no longer smells of stale cigarette smoke, he continued:  “I have completely stopped smoking for eight months. Now I cannot endure the smoke of the cigarette.” 

This was his 11th attempt to give up smoking cigarettes. In 2000, when his eldest daughter Hun Mana delivered her first baby, Mr. Hun Sen allegedly claimed that he would stop smoking State Express 555 cigarettes, but not quit altogether.

During his speech Thursday, he noted that other officials tried to give up smoking with him, but had not succeeded. He named Pol Saroeun, commander-in-chief of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces, and Phnom Penh’s city governor, Pa Socheatvong. 

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