WHO, FCTC, illegal, tobacco, illegal

WHO moves to tackle illicit tobacco trading

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The Framework Convention on Tobacco Control of the World Health Organization has reaffirmed its pledge to fight the global illicit tobacco trade.

Important decisions were made to combat illegal trading, according to the WHO FCTC, which concluded its three-day Third Session of the meeting of the Parties to the Protocol to Eliminate illegal Trade in Tobacco Products in Panama on Thursday.

“At this week’s meeting, we made significant decisions regarding tobacco tracking and tracing systems and approved a roadmap for conducting evidence-based research on illicit trade,” stated Dr. Adriana Marquizo, head of the WHO FCTC Secretariat, which is also in charge of overseeing the Protocol.

She added, “We also decided to strengthen the quality of data on the Protocol’s implementation so that it can help direct future tobacco control efforts. We also agreed on improvements for the reporting system our parties use.”

A statement on the organization’s website states that strong measures were taken to stop the illegal trade in tobacco products, which is harmful to people’s health and deprives national governments of tax income that could be used to fund public health programs.

The Protocol is an international treaty that came into effect in 2018 and attempts to end the illicit trade in tobacco products through a series of steps that must be completed by nations working together. The Protocol’s governing body is the Meeting of the Parties.

The FCTC estimates that illegal commerce makes up 11% of the world’s tobacco trade overall, and that stopping it may result in an annual gain in tax collections of $47.4 billion.

The summit, which took place from February 12 to 14, brought together representatives from 56 Protocol Parties and 27 non-Party States to discuss a variety of topics, including the state of the treaty’s implementation and sustainable financing for tobacco control.

The World Health Organization reiterated its warning last year that tobacco use, in any form, continues to be dangerous for human health and life.

Eight million people die from tobacco use each year, either directly or indirectly, according to the WHO FCTC.

This was announced at a press event hosted by the Network for Accountability of Tobacco Transnationals by Sabina Timco, the Secretary of the WHO FCTC.

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