The government of Cambodia hates vaping so much that the country’s leaders have prohibited the practice twice. Apparently not satisfied with its original 2014 ban on use, sales and imports, the Cambodian National Authority for Combatting Drugs (NACD) has banned the products again.
The NACD says online sales of e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products (HTPs) have led to widespread youth vaping, according to the Khmer Times. The newspaper says the anti-drug authority believes that vaping is a gateway to other drugs, and that it can “lead to spreading deadly diseases through sharing devices.” The latter talking point was promoted last year by the World Health Organization (WHO).
In fact, most of the Cambodian drug agency’s positions on vaping and HTP use come from the WHO or its anti-tobacco arm the Framework Convention of Tobacco Control (FCTC). The WHO’s tobacco control efforts (and the FCTC itself) are funded by American billionaire Michael Bloomberg and connected with various Bloomberg-controlled anti-tobacco organizations.
“Recently, e-cigarettes have been sold on social media, suggesting that they are safe tools to quit smoking, a safer product than regular cigarettes and do not harm the environment,” the NACD announced. “Actually these claims contradict the World Health Organization and major health institutions around the world, which have made it clear that exposure to e-cigarettes can lead to addiction, serious lung disease and even death. It can also be a motivating factor for the use of other illegal drugs.”
The NACD did not explain why it is necessary to ban vaping products a second time. The 2014 order also included shisha (hookah), but did not address HTPs, which were not commonly available at that time.
Cambodia is one of several Southeast Asian countries to have issued vape bans at the behest of the WHO and various Bloomberg-connected anti-vaping tobacco control groups. Most recently, Vietnam announced it would ban e-cigarettes and HTPs. Brunei, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore and Thailand have also prohibited vapes.
The last national survey of Cambodia in 2015 showed that 32.1 percent of male citizens over 15 smoked cigarettes, according to the Tobacco Atlas. More than 15,000 Cambodians die of smoking-caused disease every year.