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ADRA Cambodia conducts anti-smoking campaign

By: Ly Menghour The Mekong Times Posted: May-13-2008 in
Ly Menghour The Mekong Times

The campaign was organized by the Adventist Development Research Agency (ADRA) of Cambodia in cooperation with the Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization (WHO) to mark this year's Anti-Tobacco Day.

Anti-Tobacco Day is a global antismoking event held annually on May 31.

In Cambodia, Chbar Ampov High School, Chak Angre High School, Pong Teuk High School, Champu Vorn High School, Russey Keo High School and Chroy Changva High School were the focus of Anti- Tobacco Day.

High school directors, teachers, students and anti-tobacco activists marched to protest against all forms of cigarette advertising and to urge Cambodia's young people to shun the habit.

In Cambodia, which lacks anti-tobacco legislation, tobacco advertising often targets young people by sponsoring concerts, including prizes in cigarette packets and giving away cigarettes free. Heng Sokny, an ADRA Cambodia program official, noted that tobacco advertising is banned in many countries. "But in Cambodia, cigarettes are freely advertised without any warning about the dangers," he complained. "Cigarette packets have only a small text warning about dangers without pictures of patients ... In other countries the government requires cigarette firms to write about dangerous chemical substances and addictive substances in tobacco products."

According to a recent WHO report, tobacco is the main cause of death globally with 5.4 million killed by tobacco products annually. This will increase to 8.3 million, with 80 percent of deaths in developing countries such as Cambodia. Cambodia ratified the convention on tobacco control Nov 15, 2005. A law on tobacco control is currently being drafted by the Ministry of Health.

This article first appeared in The Mekong Times
The Mekong Times is a daily newspaper distributed in Cambodia.
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