The National Anti-Narcotics Agency of Cambodia (NACD) has urged the city, provincial authorities and all relevant agencies in the country to strictly enforce the ban on the import, trafficking and use of e-cigarettes and Heat not burn (HNB) in Cambodia.
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NACD Secretary-General Meas Vyrith spoke at the February 28 seminar on “Banning the Import and Trafficking of E-Cigarettes and Heat not Burn”, introducing new measures to urgently stop the trade and import of these products.
He said the measures require the relevant authorities to report any relevant crime enforcement statistics to the NACD so that its officers can compile a detailed and accurate report.
E-cigarettes and Heat not burns are battery-powered devices that generate thermal energy that converts the contents of the device into vapors that consumers inhale, Vyrith said. Traders market these products to be safer than cigarettes, but studies show that vaping and Heat not burn can still lead to lung cancer, heart disease and even death.
“We must work together to prevent the use of e-cigarettes and heat not burn as a route to drug use,” he added.
Mom Kong, executive director of the NGO Cambodia Movement for Health (CMH), said he has recently noticed that many people are actively promoting e-cigarettes and Heat not burn by posting or livestreaming on social media such as TikTok, Instagram, Telegram, especially Facebook. . .
He noted that these advertisers claim that using the devices is a safe, risk-free way to quit smoking.
“We’ve seen many of our young people fall into the trap of vaping and Heat not burn and become addicted to them unknowingly,” he said.
The liquid used contains many harmful chemicals such as nicotine, glycerin, ethylene glycol and propylene, which can cause respiratory disease, lung cancer and heart damage, Mom Kong said. E-cigarettes also present a risk of leaks and explosions that can cause severe burns.
Chhea ChhoRDAphea, director of the National Center for Health Promotion, said the government banned the import and sale of such products because they contain nicotine or other drugs and toxins that are harmful to smokers.
“The Ministry of Health and the NACD banned them a long time ago, and there’s been a lot of enforcement. We monitor the online marketing of these products and have put in place a number of measures to prevent their sale,” she said.
Citing a UN study, CMH’s Kong said about 15,000 Cambodians die each year from diseases caused by tobacco use, including e-cigarette use and Heat not burn.
The use of tobacco products costs the kingdom $649 million a year, or 3 percent of its gross domestic product, it said. Of this, $584 million was due to reduced economic productivity and premature deaths.