Send to

Choose Destination
J Relig Health. 2013 Sep;52(3):904-14. doi: 10.1007/s10943-011-9537-x.

Beliefs about tobacco, health, and addiction among adults in Cambodia: findings from a national survey.

Author information

WHO Tobacco Free Initiative (Cambodia), No. 177-179 Corner Streets Pasteur (51) and 254, PO Box 1217, Phnom Penh, Cambodia.


There remains a very high rate of smoked and smokeless tobacco use in the Western Pacific Region. The most recent findings from national adult tobacco surveys indicate that very few daily users of tobacco intend to quit tobacco use. In Cambodia, a nation that is predominantly Buddhist, faith-based tobacco control programs have been implemented where, under the fifth precept of Buddhism that proscribes addictive behaviors, monks were encouraged to quit tobacco and temples have been declared smoke-free. In the present study, we included items on a large national tobacco survey to examine the relation between beliefs (faith-based, other) about tobacco, health, and addiction among adults (18 years and older). In a stratified, multistage cluster sample (n=13,988) of all provinces of Cambodia, we found that (1) 88-93% believe that Buddhist monks should not use tobacco, buy tobacco, or be offered tobacco during a religious ceremony; (2) 86-93% believe that the Wat (temple) should be a smoke-free area; (3) 93-95% believe that tobacco is addictive in the same way as habits (opium, gambling, alcohol) listed under the fifth precept of Buddhism; and (4) those who do not use tobacco are significantly more likely to cite a Buddhist principle as part of their anti-tobacco beliefs. These data indicate that anti-tobacco sentiments are highly prevalent in the Buddhist belief system of Cambodian adults and are especially evident among non-users of tobacco. Our findings indicate that faith-based initiatives could be an effective part of anti-tobacco campaigns in Cambodia.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Springer Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center