Cambodia - agreement greater tobacco control measures needed..

April 6, 2010 - THIS SEEMS LIKE THE SAME 2-DAY SEMINAR WE REPORTED ON MARCH 8, 2010.. Cambodia - 2-day seminar, strategies for controlling tobacco use..

Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) has been working to increase tobacco control in Cambodia since 1996, to raise awareness of the dangers of tobacco consumption and reduce smoking prevalence throughout the country.

In early March, representatives from the National Assembly, the Council of Ministers, the Cambodian Inter-Ministerial Committee for Tobacco Control, and other key leaders met with ADRA and partnering non-governmental organizations during an ADRA-sponsored two-day event to discuss a draft law on tobacco control. During the meetings, participants agreed to work toward the creation of six key strategies that once implemented will enable effective tobacco control throughout the country.

These recommendations, which are expected to be distributed among key government stakeholders, would fulfill the commitment to the World Health Organization (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, which the Cambodian government ratified in 2005, and include policies that will establish laws and legitimate standardized documents to reduce tobacco consumption in the country, strengthen existing tobacco control mechanisms and methods, and install a comprehensive ban on tobacco advertising.

According to ADRA Cambodia, these recommendations and the resulting commitment to them by government parties signify a “pivotal” point in the progress of tobacco control law in Cambodia. “We are very proud to see the Cambodian government and the National Assembly commit to these strategies,” said Mark Schwisow, country director for ADRA Cambodia. “We and our partners have worked very hard to push for the tobacco control law to pass, and we are happy to have the Council of Ministers and other influential lawmakers calling for greater tobacco control measures themselves.”

The meetings, held in the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh, were designed to increase awareness and the support for a stronger anti-smoking law in a country where nearly half of all men and more than 20 percent of women use tobacco products, according to a 2005 ADRA-WHO national prevalence survey. It also aimed to encourage representatives from the Council of Ministers to support the current draft law on tobacco control, leading to ratification by the National Parliament, which has faced numerous delays and obstacles in recent years.

“ADRA Cambodia has been working for more than 10 years to reduce tobacco consumption within Cambodia,” added Schwisow. “However, additional political will is needed from key government officials in order to pass a comprehensive national law on tobacco control in Cambodia.”

ADRA organized the event through a partnership with MEDiCAM, a membership organization of non-governmental organizations in Cambodia’s Health Sector, and Cambodia Movement for Health (CMH), with technical support provided by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Reference: Cambodia: ADRA and Key Policymakers Call for Greater Tobacco Control, ADRA International, 3/30/2010.

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- Cambodia is a member of Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance (SEATCA)..