Cambodia Movement for Health and lawyers have requested the government to have laws to regulate alcohol advertisements which encourage people to consume alcohol despite adverse social impacts.
In a press release on Friday, CMH said in addition to spending a lot of money on alcohol advertising, companies also organise competitions offering prizes such as money, cars, motorbikes, flight tickets, trips and beers to attract the public, including youths, children and women, to consume alcohol.
Mom Kong, CMH executive director, yesterday said that alcohol advertising with attractive messages and a lot of prizes is the main cause for an increase in alcohol consumption among young people.
He called on the government to have laws or regulations that restrict the scope of alcohol advertising.
“Alcohol advertising is the main reason why people consume a lot of alcohol and even start drinking an an early age,” he said. “When people consume more alcohol, accidents and diseases associated with drinking also increase and result in the loss of human resources, especially youth who are the backbone of the nation.”
Mr Kong added that the ill-effects of consuming alcohol include the onset of more than 200 types of diseases.
Keo Sokea, SK & P Law Firm director, yesterday said that the constitution guarantees protection of people’s health.
He said that although Cambodia still does not have a law to control the consumption of alcohol, the government should act to regulate advertising.
“Encouraging people to use alcohol poses a risk to their health,” Mr Sokea said. “They can get sick, become disabled or even die.”
Or Vandine, Health Ministry spokeswoman, yesterday said she has not yet seen the CMH press release.
She said that the government and Health Ministry have always paid attention to people’s health by educating the public on health issues and collaborating with stakeholders, such as the creation of a non-communicable disease alliance network, to address issues.
“Not only alcohol, but tobacco is also a problem that the ministry has achieved much in addressing,” Ms Vandine said. “We previously restricted tobacco advertisements and plan to do so for alcohol, too.”
“We have worked hard to educate people to be aware of the impact of excessive alcohol consumption, so we have to work together to reduce the amount of alcohol consumption,” she added.
The Supreme Consultative Council also plans to hold a special meeting with the Commerce Ministry about alcohol advertising on Thursday.