Cambodian leader promises again to stop smoking

March 27, 2014

Cambodia's strongman Prime Minister Hun Sen has vanquished virtually every foe in almost three decades in power but admits he has failed to overcome his smoking habit.

He pledged to do so Thursday at the inauguration of a dam in western Cambodia but admitted promising to do so at least 10 times before. There was once a time when he was rarely seen without one of his favored 555 brand clutched between his fingers.

The 61-year-old leader said the temptation seizes him mostly when he plays chess, an addiction equal to the one he has to nicotine.

Stopping smoking is hard, he acknowledged, but he said he is now down to three cigarettes a day at most and his home no longer reeks of tobacco. Just the night before, he said, he was searching for a smoke, "but luckily my grandson arrived."

His vows to stop date at least to 1997, when he said he would quit when his daughter graduated from school. Declarations to stop when all five of his children married, and later when he had grandchildren, also went up in smoke.

Hun Sen currently is facing the biggest challenge in many years to his authoritarian rule from opposition protests calling on him to resign and hold new elections. The opposition says elections last July were rigged.

Last month, Cambodia banned the import, sale and promotion of e-cigarettes and shisha tobacco, a favorite of hookah-using smokers. The Cambodian Anti-Drug Authority said , which emit containing nicotine, and shisha, flavored tobacco smoked through a water pipe, had been imported in increasing quantities and were becoming popular with young people, posing health and social problems.

Explore further: Cambodia bans smoking shisha and e-cigarettes

Related Stories

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.

E-cigarettes: Gateway to nicotine addiction for US teens, says study

March 6, 2014
E-cigarettes, promoted as a way to quit regular cigarettes, may actually be a new route to conventional smoking and nicotine addiction for teenagers, according to a new UC San Francisco study.

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 ...

Europe and electronic cigarettes

June 1, 2013
France said on Friday it would apply the same bans to electronic cigarettes as it does to tobacco but would not completely outlaw the popular smokeless product.

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 ...

Recommended for you

Sleep better, lose weight?

January 17, 2018
(HealthDay)—Sleeplessness could cost you when it's time to stand on your bathroom scale, a new British study suggests.

Who uses phone apps to track sleep habits? Mostly the healthy and wealthy in US

January 16, 2018
The profile of most Americans who use popular mobile phone apps that track sleep habits is that they are relatively affluent, claim to eat well, and say they are in good health, even if some of them tend to smoke.

Improvements in mortality rates are slowed by rise in obesity in the United States

January 15, 2018
With countless medical advances and efforts to curb smoking, one might expect that life expectancy in the United States would improve. Yet according to recent studies, there's been a reduction in the rate of improvement in ...

Teens likely to crave junk food after watching TV ads

January 15, 2018
Teenagers who watch more than three hours of commercial TV a day are more likely to eat hundreds of extra junk food snacks, according to a report by Cancer Research UK.

Can muesli help against arthritis?

January 15, 2018
It is well known that healthy eating increases a general sense of wellbeing. Researchers at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) have now discovered that a fibre-rich diet can have a positive influence ...

Your dishwasher is not as sterile as you think

January 13, 2018
(HealthDay)—Your dishwasher may get those plates spotless, but it is also probably teeming with bacteria and fungus, a new study suggests.

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.