Historic day as international protocol to halt tobacco smuggling adopted



Monday 12 November 2012

Today government delegates from across the world adopted the illicit trade protocol of the global tobacco treaty – the world’s first public health treaty – despite strong attempts by the tobacco industry to interfere with the process and turn the protocol to its own ends. The World Health Organization, which administers the treaty, had warned that tobacco industry interference in these negotiations posed the single greatest threat to its success. However, the Parties resisted this pressure and approved the illicit tobacco trade protocol on the first day of the negotiations.

Commenting, Deborah Arnott, Chief Executive of ASH said:

“This is a tremendously important development and will pave the way for concerted international co-operation to stamp out the illicit trade in tobacco. Smuggling undermines health and tax policies by lowering the price of tobacco and encouraging consumption, particularly among poorer, disadvantaged smokers. The challenge now will be to ensure effective implementation of the protocol but an important landmark has been reached today.”

Notes:

For more information on the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control and the 5th Conference of the Parties see:  www.who.int/fctc/en/

A briefing on the Illicit trade protocol by the European Smokefree Partnership is available at: www.smokefreepartnership.eu/documents/spotlight-6-illicit-trade-tobacco-products