INVESTMENT CASE FOR TOBACCO CONTROL IN CAMBODIA
Tobacco is a health and sustainable development issue. Tobacco consumption and production causes early death and disease, results in high health costs and economic losses, widens socioeconomic inequalities, and even contributes to environmental degradation. As a key risk factor for major non-communicable diseases (NCDs) including cancers, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease and cardiovascular disease, tobacco consumption is one of Cambodia’s biggest public health threats. In 2017, tobacco consumption was responsible for the deaths of approximately 15,000 Cambodia citizens, equivalent to 290 lives lost every week. Thirty-three percent of tobacco-related deaths in 2017 were amongst the lowest-earning income quintile of Cambodia’s population.
This report presents the findings of the case for investing in tobacco control in Cambodia. It measures the costs and benefits—in health and economic terms—of implementing five priority tobacco control measures, in line with the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control and according to the stated priorities of the Government of Cambodia. These five policy measures are: (a) increase tobacco taxation to reduce the affordability of tobacco products (FCTC Article 6); (b) enforce bans on smoking in all public places to protect people from tobacco smoke (FCTC Article 8); (c) implement plain packaging (FCTC Article 11); (d) Increase the frequency and coverage of mass media campaigns (FCTC Article 12); and (e) enact and enforce a comprehensive ban on all forms of tobacco advertising, sponsorship and promotion (FCTC Article 13). Because stakeholders expressed interest in other outcomes that can result from increasing tobacco taxation, the investment case also examines its impact on equity considerations and projected tax.