Production was shut down at the CTK factory and Interior Ministry and local officials seized non-compliant product from the manufacturer, including 1,591 cigarette packs and 44 boxes of product. Hak Siek Lim, Tbong Khmum, a provincial court spokesman, said the CTK facility would remain shuttered until it fulfils its regulatory obligations.
“We ordered the company to cease their operations until they are ready to follow regulations by labelling their products,” Khmum was quoted as saying. “They will need to send a request to relevant authorities in order to resume operations.”
Dr Mom Kong, executive director of the Cambodia Movement for Health, said CTK had taken advantage of poor enforcement of the sub-decree stipulating health warning requirements. Dr Kong said his organisation had observed over 60 per cent compliance with the health warning requirements, but some factories producing tobacco products for domestic consumption were not meeting their obligations, he said. “[When] it comes to companies mostly selling to the domestic market, those tobacco companies are more reluctant to warn the public about the dangers of smoking,” Dr Kong said.
In 2017, there were about 1.68 million cigarette smokers in Cambodia and around USD 200 million (EUR 163 million) is spent on cigarettes in the country annually, the newspaper said.