Capital’s airport mulls relocating smoking areas

Pech Sotheary / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
An aircraft prepares for landing at Phnom Penh International Airport. KT/Chor Sokunthea

The Tourism and Health Ministries yesterday requested Phnom Penh International Airport to relocate smoking areas farther away from arrival and departure gates in anticipation of the implementation of the Law on Tobacco Control.

The request was made a meeting on “Smoke-Free Environment in Tourism Sector at Phnom Penh International Airport” at the airport.

Hor Sarun, an undersecretary of state at the Tourism Ministry, said that according to observations, people smoke cigarettes outside of the departure and arrival halls. Mr Sarun said cigarette smoke affects people who go to the airport to welcome or accompany their relatives.

He noted that Phnom Penh International Airport should prepare a smoking area farther away from the arrival and departure halls.

“We have to discuss whether to move the smoking areas to a garden or somewhere else to prevent smoke from affecting non-smokers,” Mr Sarun said. “So we have to work together to make our international airports smoke free.”

Koam Sinoun, deputy director of the Health Ministry’s legislation department, yesterday said according to the Law on Tobacco Control and relevant sub-decrees, it is prohibited to smoke in workplace buildings and public places such as schools, playgrounds, public parks, museums, and cultural and historical sites.

Mr Sinoun said regulations require tobacco companies to attach health warnings in Khmer and a warning photo displayed on the back and front of a tobacco product.

“For shops in airports that display tobacco products for sale, we have to find a way to find out whether these shops are complying with our regulations,” he said. “There are a lot of displays of cigarette packs. These shops should make adjustments in accordance with the law.”

Herve Bonin, general manager of Phnom Penh International Airport, yesterday said it will relocate smoking areas. Mr Bonin said it will also display a large banner in the Chinese language.

He added that the management is open to discussions with business owners who sell tobacco products at the airport.

“We will find a way to improve in order to comply with the law,” Mr Bonin said.

Mom Kong, executive director of the Cambodian Movement for Health, said the airport needs to address the issue of tobacco in order to make it a smoke-free establishment.

“It is not only Cambodians who use the airport, but also international tourists,” Mr Kong said. “They want our airport to be a good and healthy place for everyone who come here.”

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