Cambodia Vape Campaign Youth: Ministry Takes Action

Cambodia Vape Campaign

The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of Cambodia has recently launched a campaign to increase education and raise awareness among students about the harmful effects of e-cigarettes. This initiative comes in response to the alarming fact that the vast majority of e-cigarette users in Cambodia are between the ages of 15 and 29.

Speaking at a conference on the use and spread of e-cigarettes among teenagers held on March 27 in Phnom Penh, Ms. Soeur Socheata, Deputy Secretary of State for the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, discussed the government’s new guidelines. These guidelines classify e-cigarettes as addictive drugs and require teachers and education managers to thoroughly understand and disseminate this information to students.

The new guidelines emphasize that e-cigarettes pose significant health hazards and that their use, import, distribution, and sale are prohibited by law. However, Ms. Soeur Socheata acknowledged that the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports alone does not have sufficient resources to prevent the use of e-cigarettes among students, as most young people use these products outside of the school environment.

To address this issue, the Ministry is coordinating with other authorities, such as the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Ministry of Information, and the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications, to implement legal actions targeting the advertising and trading of e-cigarettes on online social networking platforms popular among young adults.

A recent survey conducted in Phnom Penh and three other provinces revealed that up to three-quarters (75%) of e-cigarette users in Cambodia are students, with products being advertised and sold through social networks. The vast majority of the more than 1,300 teenagers who participated in the survey said they had seen e-cigarettes and were aware of their dangerous effects, with up to 79% knowing that e-cigarettes were prohibited products.

As the Cambodian government takes steps to combat the growing concern of e-cigarette use among youth, a multi-faceted approach involving education, awareness, and legal action will be necessary to protect the health and well-being of the nation’s young population.

Sophia Bennett