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Authorities Ban the Use of E-Cigarettes and HTP Products

PHNOM PENH: The National Anti-Drug Authority has requested authorities to ban the use of e-cigarettes and HTP (heated tobacco products) in order to improve the well-being of people, especially young people, who are addicted to these products.

In a seminar on the prohibition of the import and exploitation of e-cigarettes and HTP products held in Cambodia on Monday, 28 February, the National Authority for Combating Drugs, Joint Technology Crime Department, and other relevant institutions and units, have requested the 25 competent authorities to participate in banning the import and exploitation of e-cigarettes and HTP products in the Kingdom.

Although the Royal Government issued a directive banning the import and trade of e-cigarettes and HTP products in Cambodia in 2014 and early 2021, sales and consumption activities have not disappeared yet.

The 25 Capital-Provincial authorities acknowledge that there is still the import, commercialization and use of e-cigarettes and HTP products in Cambodia, especially through social media via post or live sales on platforms such as TikTok, Instagram, Telegram and especially Facebook, by importers and traders of these illegal products.

According to the National Anti-Drug Authority, the use of e-cigarettes and HTP products is extremely dangerous, with one risk including the explosion of the device, that can cause serious harm, as well as the increase risk of transmission of diseases (such as Covid-19) from between those who share the use of these devices.

In addition, the e-liquid used in e-cigarettes and HTP products contains many harmful chemicals such as nicotine, glycerin and propylene glycol. Nicotine is highly addictive, and can cause impaired fetal growth and brain development among pregnant women.

For young people, these substances can affect learning, memory, concentration and potentially also act as a gateway drug to to more dangerous drug use in the future. Additionally, vapors from this viscous solution have the ability to carry harmful cancer-causing chemicals deeper into the lungs.

According to a six-month survey by the US CDC from September 2019 to February 2020, 2,807 Americans fell ill and 68 died from lung diseases caused by the use of e-cigarettes.

Electronic Cigarettes are fairly new devices used for tobacco products that use energy by heating a liquid in a tube that holds the liquid for the user to inhale and exhale outside, just like regular cigarettes. Electronic cigarettes are called by different names such as e-cigs, e-hookahs, vapes, vape pens, tank systems, or mods. These devices have been especially popular among young people around the world, including in Cambodia.

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