Analysis of the role of health professionals in advancing tobacco control policy in Cambodia
The main objective of this study was to obtain information on tobacco-related tobacco use, environmental tobacco smoke, knowledge and attitudes toward tobacco control, and current and intended tobacco control activities among health professionals. The ultimate objective of this study was to find out the opportunities for involving health professionals to take action in tobacco intervention programs for advancing tobacco control policy in Cambodia, in particular at the health facilities.
A survey was conducted in 2007 of health professionals working in the health centers, referral and national hospitals. The smoking prevalence among the health professionals selected for the study was about 10%, and most of the smokers were willing to quit smoking. The majority (66%) of the non-smoker health professionals had been exposed to secondhand smoke during the past seven days. Almost all of the health professionals were aware of the adverse effects of tobacco use. There was a limitation in enforcing the implementation of the smoke-free circulation of the Ministry of Health.
Most (83%) of the health professionals thought that a patient’s chances of quitting smoking would increase if a health professional advised them to do so. Nearly half of the health professionals were aware of the World No Tobacco Day.
The health professions are highly regarded by society and therefore they have great potential in playing an active role in tobacco control in Cambodia. However, significant efforts are needed to make sure that all health professionals lead smoke-free lives, and that an enabling environment is created to enable them to actively participate in the tobacco control program by promoting smoke-free lifestyles, advocating tobacco control policy and introducing the smoking cessation approach into the health professional's preservice training and on the job training.
Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance. 54 pp.