We, the European Network for Smoking and Tobacco Prevention (ENSP), strongly advocate and promote the ratification of, accession to and use of the Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products by all Parties to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) and its early entry into force through the active involvement of all relevant stakeholders.
In support of this we underline that:
- Illicit trade of tobacco products is a public health matter, and not just related to economic, governance, legal and corruption matters.
- Illicit trade in tobacco products is a global problem. Elimination of all forms of illicit trade including smuggling and illegal manufacturing is an essential component of tobacco control.
- The ratification of the Protocol is an urgent issue for all the European countries
- The whole ratification and implementation process should take place in the light of WHO-FCTC article 5.3.
- The track and trace system of the tobacco products is a crucial mechanism to control illicit trade. In addition, the absence of systematic, real-time monitoring of raw tobacco has a strong negative impact on the ability of countries to perform monitoring of the logistics of excisable tobacco products and fight against illicit production and trade
Consequently, the ENSP calls on all European countries to give priority to tobacco control and fulfil their obligations under the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) by recognizing that the illicit tobacco trade not only exacerbates the global tobacco epidemic and its related health consequences, but that it has security implications through financing organized crime, including drugs, human and arms trafficking, as well as terrorism.