Illegal tobacco trade involves one in 10 cigarettes, experts warn

Illegal tobacco trading costs the global economy USD$31 billion a year, WHO says. Photo: Unifeed/WHO

The illicit tobacco trade poses major health, economic and security concerns and likely affects one in 10 cigarettes smoked globally, UN health experts say.

Ahead of World No Tobacco Day on Sunday 31 May, the World Health Organization (WHO) wants more countries to combat the trade by joining a new treaty banning the practice.

Developed by the WHO, the international agreement – known as a Protocol – requires 40 member states to sign it for it to become law.

So far the Protocol just has eight signatories.

It faces major obstacles from the tobacco industry which has tried to "hijack" what's in it, as WHO's Dr Vera Luiza da Costa e Silva explained to Daniel Johnson.

Duration: 4'12"

 

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