Physicians News

Global meeting to combat illicit tobacco trade concludes with decisive action

The Third session of the Meeting of the Parties to the Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products concluded today after taking decisive action to combat illicit trade in tobacco products that harms health and robs national governments of tax revenues that could support public health initiatives.

“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,” said Dr Adriana Blanco Marquizo, who as Head of the Secretariat of WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control also oversees the Protocol.

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

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

“It is,” Dr Blanco Marquizo said, “a global solution to a global problem.”

Illicit trade accounts for about 11% of total global tobacco trade, and its elimination could increase global tax revenues by an estimated US$ 47.4 billion annually.

Representatives from 56 Parties to the Protocol and 27 non-Party States gathered here from 12 to 14 February to tackle a range of issues from progress on implementation of the treaty to sustainable financing for tobacco control.

The Third session of the Meeting of the Parties (MOP3) also adopted the Panama Declaration that calls on national governments to be wary of the ceaseless campaign by the tobacco industry and those working to further its interests to undermine efforts to eliminate illicit trade in tobacco products.

The Panama Declaration also emphasized the need for effective action to prevent and combat illicit trade in tobacco products, which requires a comprehensive international approach to – and close cooperation on – all aspects of illicit trade in tobacco, tobacco products and tobacco manufacturing equipment.

MOP3 was open to the media, enabling reporters to document the efforts of more than 500 delegates from around the world as they united over three days to deliberate and take action on important issues related to implementation of the Protocol.

About the author

Joseph Chukwuma Oputa

Joseph Chukwuma Oputa is the Managing Editor of Maslow Businessnews and Physicians News publications published by Maslow Business News Publications, Lagos, Nigeria.

Joseph Oputa is a proud Alumnus of the prestigious Nigerian Institute of Journalism, Lagos and Federal Polytechnic, Bida, Niger State.

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