PHNOM PENH —
The Cambodian government on Friday approved a new regulation that will impose fines for public smoking.
The sub-decree banning public smoking was approved by the Council of Ministers at its weekly meeting on Friday and is part of a tobacco control law passed last year.
The ban focuses in part on smoking in restaurants and offices, where inhaling second-hand smoke can be particularly dangerous.
“This regulation is a message to the public to come to more comprehension about the impacts of cigarettes and smoke from them,” Council of Ministers spokesman Phay Siphan said, adding that most smokers in Cambodia are among the older generations.
Yel Daravuth, a doctor and technical officer for the Tobacco Free Initiative, said the ban will help lead to decreases in smoking, which annually kills more than 10,000 Cambodians—about 30 per day.
The ban, which includes penalties of up to $12 in fines, follows the January announcement from Prime Minister Hun Sen that he had finally quit smoking after 30 years.
“In this post, I’m asking my Cambodian people to quit smoking,” he wrote on Facebook. “Especially the youth.”