Prime Minister Hun Sen, who attempted to stop smoking 10 times before finally succeeding in 2014, said on Wednesday that his triumph has paid out handsome dividends, with doctors in Singapore informing him his health has since improved greatly.
Mr. Hun Sen fought a very public battle with his smoking habit for more than a decade, complaining once that the stress of trying to quit made him worse at chess, before announcing in September 2014 that he had finally been victorious.
Updating his Facebook page to let his nearly 2 million followers know how his health checkup in Singapore is going, he said that he was proud that his perseverance has led to improved health.
“I am really thankful to brothers and sisters for your attention to my health,” Mr. Hun Sen wrote. “After management with attention from our Cambodian and Singaporean doctors, the doctors said clearly that my health is rich even though I have grown older.”
“The doctors were happy to see me quit smoking cigarettes—that is a contribution to the improvement in my health,” the prime minister added.
Mr. Hun Sen said the Singaporean doctors had also expressed admiration for his athletic physique.
“The group of doctors expressed how happy they are to see my arms and my legs are still strong, in the standing of a golf course sportsman,” he wrote.
“The doctors requested that I additionally do some swimming exercises, but I told them my house does not have a swimming pool,” the prime minister said.
CPP spokesman Sok Eysan said he himself quit smoking when the Khmer Rouge fell in January 1979 but that he was nevertheless not wholly convinced that quitting is always better for one’s health.
“Doctors say quitting smoking is better, but, in contradiction to this, some foreign countries, such as Cuba, say drinking coffee and smoking is good for health, especially for urinating well,” Mr. Eysan said.
“At the same time, our elderly smoke cigarettes made from Sangke leaf and they live for a long time—up to 90 or 100 years old.”