Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen on Friday ordered to shut down all shisha and e-cigarette businesses across the country, saying the increasing popular products contained high levels of addictive substances.
Shisha is flavored tobacco smoked through a water pipe, while e- cigarette is a battery-powered device that simulates smoking by heating and vaporizing a liquid solution containing nicotine. "I'd like to order all authorities to close all shisha businesses across the country and call on all shisha business operators to immediately stop such businesses,"the premier said during the closing of an annual tourism conference."After being tested in laboratory, shisha contained high levels of addictive substances."
He said such products could not be allowed to exist in Cambodia, or they would destroy the future of young people.
The premier's verbal order came after the National Authority for Combating Drugs (NACD) on Wednesday issued a directive to ban the use and import of shisha and e-cigarettes.
"Importing and trading shisha and e-cigarettes are prohibited," said the directive signed by Deputy Prime Minister and NACD's Chairman Ke Kim Yan, ordering the authorities to seize those products from businesses.
The NACD said shisha and e-cigarette contained high levels of nicotine that could cause more serious impact on health than cigarettes.
Shisha is typically smoked in cafes through a communal water pipe, originated in the Middle East, but has gained popularity in much of the world, including Cambodia.
According to a report by the World Health Organization, shisha carries the same risks as any tobacco product, but since smoking sessions typically last longer, the volume of smoke inhaled can be 20 times that of a cigarette.