A man smoking at a public place. Cambodia launches a campaign to reduce smoking in Siem Reap city. (Source: phnompenhpost.com)

Hanoi (VNA) – Cambodia on September 6 launched a campaign to cut down on smoking in Siem Reap city in the country’s northwestern province of same name.

Minister of Health Mam Bunheng and Siem Reap’s Governor Khim Bunsong kicked off the campaign with the participation of about 200 tourism and health officials as well as representatives of non-government organisations, owners of hotels and restaurants, supermarkets and cigarette retailers.

Minister Mam Bunheng said the campaign aims to raise awareness of people on the impact of cigarettes on health as well as to promote the implementation of the smoking ban in public places and workplaces.

He said the campaign is part of government efforts to protect health and lower the risk of catching cigarette-related diseases.

The Minister called on all people to support the campaign to reduce deaths caused by smoking.

Cambodia has a population of 15 million people, of which 7.5 million are adults. Roughly 1.55 million Cambodians are smokers, according to a survey in 2014.

In March, the Cambodian government issued a ban on smoking in public places or workplaces, with fines of 5-12.5 USD for violators.

The World Health Organisation reported that around 10,000 people in Cambodia die from smoking-related diseases each year. Passive smokers also face high risks of diseases.-VNA