The agreement sets the rules for combating the illicit trade in tobacco products, defines unlawful conduct and the measures to be taken by various governments to cooperate in enforcing the new treaty.
According to a UN Radio news report, more than 135 countries have been participating in the Inter-governmental Negotiating Body (INB) which has been working on the accord for the past four years.
Ian Walton-George, Chairman of the INB, stated that illicit trade in tobacco poses a serious threat to public health and targets vulnerable people, the report said.
“It’s a way of getting cheap cigarettes, illegal cigarettes into the hands of young people, poor people, people who are in a vulnerable position. And, of course, there is a huge profit to be made from the illegal trade in cigarettes. There is smuggling that is producing an illicit trade, and we wanted to make sure we can try and prevent the circulation of these illicit products. Let’s just call them cigarettes but it’s actually tobacco products which are included,” Walton-George told the UN Radio.
By Ekow Quandzie