Protocol to eliminate illicit trade in tobacco products to open for signatureListen /
The Protocol to Eliminate the Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products will be open for signature Thursday10 January 2013, at WHO Headquarters in Geneva.
All Parties to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) have been invited to participate, along with the representatives of relevant intergovernmental organizations.
The Protocol was adopted by the Conference of the Parties at its fifth session in November, in Seoul, South Korea. It will be open for signature by all Parties to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control over a 2-day period before moving to the United Nations Headquarters in New York until January 2014.
Dr. Haik Nikogosian of the WHO says the protocol puts the obligation on States and Governments to globally track and trace illegal tobacco products.
” Simply, what is the public health impact of the illicit trade. Of course, illicit trade has a major fiscal impact also on the governments. They are losing revenue. This is also a source of criminal activities. But our interest fro WHO perspective is the public health impact. And the public health impact is that illicit trade is the source of cheap cigarettes.”
Dr. Nikogosian says the consumption of tobacco overall in the world unfortunately is still not decreasing. He says while a number of countries reported a decrease in smoking prevalence, smoking is now concentrated in developing countries with the number of smokers increasing because population growth.
Donn Bobb, United Nations.