30 May 2014: Today the Ministry of Health, the Asia Institute of Sciences and Kampong Cham University joined the celebration of World No-Tobacco Day under the theme: increase taxes save lives.
In accordance with the Third Rectangular Strategy of the Royal Government of Cambodia and the Strategy the Ministry of Health is working to lower tobacco use at a faster rate than that of neighbouring countries. Statistics from the National Statistics Institute of the Ministry of Planning showed that from 2005 to 2010 show a 5.68% reduction of male smokers from 48.98 to 43.3% compared to a 3.1% reduction of female smokers from 20.2 to 17.3%.
Dr. Khun Sokrin, Director of the National Center for the Promotion of Health, a responsible national institute on tobacco control, reported that the Center is implementing the legislation of health warnings on cigarette packets; comprehensive bans on tobacco advertisements, promotions and sponsorship; smoke-free indoor areas; tobacco education and cessation; and research. To date, 768 smoke-free zones have been established, including at workplaces, schools, hospitals, and pagodas. In addition, 44 training courses have been developed across the country. During the event Mr. Chu Se from the General Tax office indicated that the tax on cigarettes would rise from 20% to 25%.
Finally, H.E. Ing Phirun, Secretary of the Ministry of Health, representing the Minister, thanked the Asia Institute of Sciences and Kampong Cham University for sponsoring the event and said the aims of the tax increase were, one, to raise money for state revenues and, two, to encourage smokers, especially young smokers, to cut back or stop smoking.