Music lovers nationwide will enjoy the traditional, televised tobacco-sponsored Water Festival concert tonight, but such events, along with other forms of tobacco promotion, must be discontinued within five years, officials said Monday.
At Friday’s National Assembly session, Cambodia became the 111th nation to ratify the World Health Organization-sponsored treaty that commits it to outlaw tobacco advertisements, promotion and sponsorship.
The Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, signed by Prime Minster Hun Sen on May 25, was passed by a vote of 97 to zero.
“The United Nations wanted us to ratify it by Nov 8, but we were three days late,” said Lim Thai Pheng, the director of the Ministry of Health’s National Center for Health Promotion.
In the treaty, Cambodia has pledged that it “recognizes that scientific evidence has unequivocally established that exposure to tobacco smoke causes death, disease and disability.”
Cambodia has also promised to consider high taxes on tobacco products to discourage use and to protect the public from second-hand smoke. It has also pledged to have large warning labels on tobacco products.
Lim Thai Pheng said he would like cigarette promotions to end before the five-year deadline.
Kun Lim, communications manager for British American Tobacco, wrote in an e-mail Monday that BAT has already ceased television, radio and billboard advertising and that BAT believes smoking carries the risk of lung cancer, respiratory diseases and heart diseases.
“We support—and wish to help deliver—tobacco regulation that can help to reduce the impact of tobacco on public health whilst ensuring that adult consumers are able to continue to make informed choices about consumption of a legal product,” he added.