WHO: End tobacco promotion

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The WHO said nations can protect children by strictly implementing laws on tobacco control and regulating products like e-cigarettes. AFP

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has appealed to governments and other entities to help stop the promotion of tobacco and other products that are harmful to children and young people.

In a statement on Sunday, the WHO said: “Schools must refuse any form of sponsorship and prohibit representatives from nicotine and tobacco companies from speaking to students.

“Celebrities and influencers need to reject all offers of sponsorship. Television and streaming services must stop showing tobacco or e-cigarette use on screen.

“Social media platforms should ban the marketing of tobacco and related products and prohibit influencer marketing. Governments need to ban all forms of tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship,” it said.

The WHO statement said nations can protect children from industry exploitation by strictly implementing laws on tobacco control and regulating products like e-cigarettes.

“The world cannot afford another generation deceived by the lies of the tobacco industry, which pretends to promote freedom of personal choice while ensuring eternal profits – regardless of the millions of people that pay with their lives each year,” it said.

Cambodia Movement for Health (CMH) posted on its website on May 25 that there is a wide range of e-cigarettes in use among young people, especially students.

“Authorities should tighten measures to ban the sale and use of e-cigarettes,” CMH wrote.

CMH said according to a report on the implementation of the law on tobacco control conducted by the Royal University of Phnom Penh around 30 per cent of cigarettes on the market came without warning messages in Khmer.

Another fifty per cent of cigarettes did not contain a taxation stamp.

“An estimated 15,000 Cambodian citizens die each year from tobacco-related diseases and 33 per cent of those deaths occur among the lowest income group,” said a report prepared by RTI International, United Nations Development Programme, and WHO.