• May 20, 2024

New Tobacco Health Warnings in Cambodia

 New Tobacco Health Warnings in Cambodia
Image: ATIC

New tobacco health warning requirements took effect in Cambodia today, according to The Phnom Penh Post.

The amended rules require cigarette manufacturers to print textual and pictorial messages on 55 percent of each tobacco product pack warning consumers that smoking can lead to heart disease and fatal emphysema.

Retailers may continue to sell existing legally compliant and tax-paid tobacco products until they are depleted in the marketplace.

In the runup to the directive, the Association of Tobacco Industry in Cambodia (ATIC) produced and distributed an informational poster about the new rules to more than 20,000 retail outlets across the Kingdom.

“Our members have printed the new textual and graphic health warning on our product packs,” said ATIC President Roy Manalili. “The association is pleased to follow and support the authorities in this process to promote public health and strengthen fair competition.”

A Kantar study on illicit tobacco trade across Cambodia last year found 3.4 million out of 4.7 million packs complied with the then-prevailing health warning requirements.

Eighteen percent of noncompliant packs were identified as illicit product.

“It was believed that the ministry’s prioritized action to enforce and strengthen the existing regulations on the tobacco products with no pictorial health warning would be a much more important step than releasing new pictorial health warning or enlarging it,” said Manalili.

“Better enforcement would increase the level playing field in the market for a transparent business environment in line with the latest government’s policy reform.”