Ranked 20 out of 57

Cambodia

Overall Score: 49

Indicators of Influence

These seven key indicators highlight interference from the tobacco industry in Cambodia.

No. 1

Industry participation in policy development:

Indicator Score:

4 / 20

The government does not accept offers of assistance from the tobacco industry, nor endorse any policies drafted by the industry, nor invite the industry to sit at meetings deciding on policy. The government needs to remain vigilant.

No. 2

Tobacco industry-related CSR activities:

Indicator Score:

3 / 20

CSR activities are not banned and remain a problem in the country. They are mostly done by transnational tobacco companies including British American Tobacco and Japan Tobacco International.

No. 3

Benefits given to the tobacco industry:

Indicator Score:

6 / 20

Incentives are still given to the tobacco industry although these are not publicly known. One such incentive is the Ministry of Commerce’s waiver of duties to tobacco leaves exported to Vietnam and exemption of import tax by the Vietnam government for registered farmers producing more than 3,000 tons. Publicity was given to the exemption urging tobacco growers to take advantage of the exemption.

No. 4

Unnecessary interaction with the tobacco industry:

Indicator Score:

3 / 20

There was a meeting on December 6, 2019 between the minster of the Ministry of Information and Chairman of China Huaxin Group Limited of the Republic of China on a tobacco farming investment project.

No. 5

Procedure for transparency measures:

Indicator Score:

7 / 20

There are no rules or procedures for disclosure or registration of tobacco industry entities, affiliated organizations or individuals acting on their behalf. This is the area the industry can use to misrepresent its meetings with the various government departments.

No. 6

Avoiding conflicts of interest:

Indicator Score:

9 / 20

The president of the LYP Group, which owns the Hero King Co., LTD cigarette business, is currently a senator. The government does not prohibit contributions from the tobacco industry or any entity working to further its interests to political parties, candidates or campaigns or to require full disclosure of such contributions.

No. 7

Preventive measures:

Indicator Score:

17 / 30

A Sub-Decree on the Establishment and Functioning of the Committee for Tobacco Control was passed in 2017 which has incorporated principles of Article 5.3. There is no periodic submission of information from the tobacco industry about its business and what it spends on activities such as tobacco marketing and philanthropy. While the Ministry of Health has disseminated information on Article 5.3 to all members of National Tobacco Control Committee, there is no information available publicly on the existence of a sustained program to raise awareness more systematically.

Recommendations

These are ways Cambodia can deter interference from the tobacco industry:

  • Tobacco-related CSR activities must be banned.
  • In line with WHO FCTC Article 5.3 Guidelines, benefits currently given to the tobacco industry, such as the waiver of duties for export, must be stopped.
  • According to WHO FCTC Article 5.3 Guidelines, interaction with the tobacco industry should only be held when strictly necessary. This would prevent the tobacco industry from utilizing meeting opportunities to promote its business. To promote transparency, there must be a procedure in place to prevent representatives of the tobacco industry from misrepresenting its meetings with governments.
  • To prevent conflicts of interest, individuals involved in the tobacco business must not hold public office.
  • There must be a program to constantly raise awareness on policies related to WHO FCTFC Article 5.3 among government agencies. A code of conduct must be adopted to guide government officials when dealing with the tobacco industry. The tobacco industry must be required to provide information about its business, including what it spends on marketing and philanthropy.

Learn more about tobacco industry interference in this country.

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