PHNOM PENH, Sept. 6 (FN) — Cambodia on Tuesday launched a campaign on smoke-free environments in Siem Reap City in northwestern Siem Reap province, according to a health ministry's press release.
Health Minister Mam Bunheng and Siem Reap Provincial Governor Khim Bunsong jointly announced the campaign, which was attended by some 200 people who are tourism officials, health officials, non-governmental organization representatives, owners of hotels, guest houses, restaurants, and supermarkets, and cigarette sellers, the press release said.
"The campaign aims to increase public awareness of the impacts of exposing to cigarette smoke and to push for the implementation of the sub-decree on smoking ban in workplaces or public areas," Mam Bunheng said.
"It is part of the government's efforts in protecting people's health and in preventing people from catching tobacco-related illnesses," he said.
The minister called on people from all walks of life to support the campaign in order to reduce the fatal rate from smoking.
In March, the government approved the sub-decree on smoking ban in workplaces or public areas with a fine between 5 and 12.5 U.S. dollars for violators.
Cambodia has a population of nearly 15 million, with 7.5 million adults. According to the National Adult Tobacco Survey 2014, some 1.55 million adult Cambodians smoke cigarettes.
Tobacco is seriously harmful to the health of smokers and other people when their smoke drifts around, and other people breathe it in. The World Health Organization estimated that some 10,000 Cambodian people die from tobacco-related diseases every year.