Clinical Psychologist Calls for Policies to Reduce Tobacco Consumption

WHO Globally Tackles Illicit Tobacco Trade

The World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control restated its commitment to combat tobacco trading globally.
The WHO FCTC, arising from a three-day third session of the meeting of the parties to the Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products, which closed in Panama on Thursday, noted important decisions were taken to combat illicit trading.

According to the head of the Secretariat, WHO FCTC, Dr Adriana Marquizo, who also oversees the Protocol, “Our meeting this week took important decisions on tobacco tracking-and-tracing systems and approved a road map to conduct evidence-based research on illicit trade.”

“We also agreed on improvements for the reporting system our parties use, which will strengthen the quality of data on the implementation of the Protocol and can help guide future tobacco control efforts,” she said.

In a statement published on the WHO’s website, decisive action was taken to combat illicit trade in tobacco products that harms health and robs national governments of tax revenues that could support public health initiatives.

The UN health body noted that the Meeting of the Parties is the governing body of the Protocol, which is an international treaty that entered into force in 2018 and aims to eliminate illicit trade in tobacco products through a package of measures to be taken by countries acting in cooperation with one another.

According to the FCTC, illicit trade accounts for about 11 percent of the total global tobacco trade, and its elimination could increase global tax revenues by an estimated $47.4 billion annually.

Representatives from 56 parties to the Protocol and 27 non-party states gathered for the meeting from February 12 to 14 to tackle a range of issues, from progress on implementation of the treaty to sustainable financing for tobacco control.

The WHO FCTC Secretary, Sabina Timco, revealed during a press briefing organized by the Network for Accountability of Tobacco Transnationals that eight million people lose their lives yearly to tobacco, either directly or indirectly.

In 2023, the WHO sustained its warning that tobacco in all its forms for consumption remained a threat to life and human well-being.