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Cambodian Education Ministry Seeks Sub-Decree on E-Cigarette Regulation

PHNOM PENH, April 28, 2024 — The Cambodian Ministry of Education has called on relevant institutions to collaborate in drafting a sub-decree aimed at preventing and curbing the use and distribution of e-cigarettes, particularly among students.

During a meeting at the Sunway Hotel on April 30, Dr. Hang Chuon Naron, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education, Youth and Sports, stressed the importance of establishing a clear legal framework to facilitate the confiscation of e-cigarettes in schools and enforce bans on student usage.

Dr. Chuon Naron highlighted the need for the sub-decree to include specific legal and technical terms recognized by the World Health Organization, such as defining the permissible age for users and identifying the types of devices to be prohibited. “With a sub-decree in place, local authorities can act more effectively, and school principals will have the legal backing to ban e-cigarette sales around school premises,” he stated.

The proposed measures respond to the growing concern over the health risks associated with e-cigarettes, which the Royal Government of Cambodia classifies as harmful substances akin to drugs. The Ministry has previously issued several guidelines to combat e-cigarette use within educational settings, including directives on advertising bans and non-tobacco sports principles.

Despite these initiatives, the prevalence of e-cigarette use among students remains high, with many resorting to using them off-campus in cafes, parks, and other public places. A 2024 study by the Ministry indicated that online platforms like Facebook, TikTok, and Telegram are major distribution channels for these products.

Dr. Chuon Naron urged authorities to intensify efforts to curb the online distribution and free circulation of e-cigarettes to protect the youth, who are vulnerable to nicotine addiction and its detrimental effects on brain and memory development.

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