Cambodia bans smoking shisha and e-cigarettes

February 27, 2014

Cambodia has banned e-cigarettes and shisha pipes saying the increasingly popular products contain damaging levels of nicotine and are leading young people to take up smoking.

The National Authority for Combating Drugs (NACD) ordered authorities to immediately cease the import, use and sale of shisha tobacco and pipes and e-cigarettes across the country, according to a directive issued to local authorities on Wednesday.

The NACD said that while neither is classified as a drug, they contain high levels of nicotine that "affect the health more seriously than cigarettes".

Cigarettes are widespread in Cambodia but over recent years wealthy, young Cambodian smokers are also turning to shisha lounges especially in the tourist hubs of Phnom Penh and Siem Reap.

Shisha, also known as hookah or hubbly-bubbly, is a Middle-Eastern tradition of smoking flavoured tobacco via pipes and a water bowl.

E-cigarettes—battery-powered devices that simulate smoking by heating and vaporising a liquid solution containing nicotine—have also won a small but growing customer base in the kingdom.

The directive ordered authorities to confiscate shisha tobacco, pipes and e-cigarette paraphernalia, saying are being distracted from their studies by socialising over a shisha.

The move prompted dismay from businesses serving shisha.

Lem Oudom, manager of The Sands shisha lounge in the capital, said the ban was "unfair" because the fruit-flavoured tobacco does not contain illicit drugs.

But he said he would follow the order and cease selling shisha.

According to a 2005 study by the World Health Organisation (WHO), water pipe smoke contains high concentrations of toxic compounds, including carbon monoxide, heavy metals, cancer-causing chemicals and potentially addictive levels of .

Smokers also inhale quantities of smoke many times larger and thicker than generated by normal cigarettes.

Research on e-cigarettes is less conclusive.

Supporters claim they are a harmless and valuable tool in helping smokers to quit and could save millions of lives.

But the World Health Organisation has advised against them, saying their potential health risk "remains undetermined".

Sales of electronic cigarettes have surged globally, with manufacturers jumping on the trend.

Governments have struggled with how to regulate the product since its emergence.

In October, European lawmakers rejected a bid to classify e- as medicinal products, which would have restricted their sale to pharmacies.

Explore further: Toward understanding the health effects of waterpipe or 'hookah' smoking

Related Stories

Toward understanding the health effects of waterpipe or 'hookah' smoking

September 8, 2013
With water pipes or hookahs gaining popularity in the United States and other countries, scientists today described a step toward establishing the health risks of what has been termed "the first new tobacco trend of the 21st ...

Spain to ban e-cigarettes in hospitals, schools

December 18, 2013
Spain will ban electronic cigarettes from public places like hospitals and schools because of their possible health risks, the government said Wednesday.

Herbal shisha a potential health hazard, study says

November 11, 2013
(Medical Xpress)—Just because something is marketed as herbal doesn't make it healthy—especially when it comes to smoking shisha, which can contain toxic metals, tar and other carcinogenic compounds sometimes on par with ...

French court rules e-cigs fall under tobacco monopoly

December 9, 2013
A French commercial court ruled on Monday that e-cigarettes qualify as tobacco products and should only be sold by registered tobacconists.

Study documents secondhand exposure to vapors from electronic cigarettes

December 13, 2013
Electronic cigarettes, when used indoors, may involuntarily expose non-users to nicotine, according to a study led by Maciej Goniewicz, PhD, PharmD, of Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) and published by the journal Nicotine ...

Shisha smoking as bad as cigarettes for lungs: study

August 30, 2012
Water-pipe smoking is as bad as deeply inhaling cigarette smoke when it comes to causing respiratory problems, according to a study published on Thursday.

Recommended for you

Concern with potential rise in super-potent cannabis concentrates

July 21, 2017
University of Queensland researchers are concerned the recent legalisation of medicinal cannabis in Australia may give rise to super-potent cannabis concentrates with associated harmful effects.

Findings link aldosterone with alcohol use disorder

July 18, 2017
A new study led by scientists at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), part of the National Institutes of Health, demonstrates that aldosterone, a hormone produced in the adrenal glands, may contribute ...

Depression among young teens linked to cannabis use at 18

July 17, 2017
A study looking at the cumulative effects of depression in youth, found that young people with chronic or severe forms of depression were at elevated risk for developing a problem with cannabis in later adolescence.

Why does prenatal alcohol exposure increase the likelihood of addiction?

July 7, 2017
One of the many negative consequences when fetuses are exposed to alcohol in the womb is an increased risk for drug addiction later in life. Neuroscientists in the University at Buffalo Research Institute on Addictions are ...

Researchers say U.S. policies on drugs and addiction could use a dose of neuroscience

June 23, 2017
Tens of thousands of Americans die from drug overdoses every year – around 50,000 in 2015 – and the number has been steadily climbing for at least the last decade and a half, according to the National Institute on Drug ...

Study provides further support for genetic factors underlying addictions

June 13, 2017
Impairment of a particular gene raises increases susceptibility to opioid addiction liability as well as vulnerability to binge eating according to a new study.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.