ENSP and ERS welcome the European Commission’s decision not to renew its anti-fraud agreement with PMI

As NGOs active in tobacco control representing health and medical professionals, academics,researchers and experts, the European Network for Smoking and Tobacco Prevention (ENSP)and the European Respiratory Society (ERS) would like to congratulate the EuropeanCommission for not renewing the agreement on smuggling and counterfeit of tobacco products with Philip Morris International (PMI), which expires on 9th July 2016.

With this important decision for not renewing the agreement with PMI, the Commission has shown its commitment to Article 5.3 of the UN WHO Framework Convention on TobaccoControl (FCTC) and Article 8.12 of the FCTC Protocol to eliminate illicit trade in tobacco products.

We deeply believe this is a major step in the right direction in the fight against illicit tobacco products and above all for the protection of the health of EU citizens. However, we would like to urge the Commission to cease all other agreements with tobacco manufacturers as soon as it possibly can. Those agreements have been proven to be ineffective and out of date, as well as being in conflict with FCTC.

ENSP and ERS are therefore encouraging all EU member states to sign and ratify the FCTCProtocol to eliminate illicit trade in tobacco products as soon as possible, as it is regarded byVice-President Georgieva as « the best instrument to fight illicit trade by regulatory means”.

Submitted by: Andrea Glahn, 2 December 2016