International pact sought on cigarette smuggling

By Robert Evans

GENEVA (Reuters) - Delegates from more than 150 countries met Monday to push for a wide-ranging pact to curb the booming trade in cigarette smuggling.

The week-long conference in Geneva is being held under the auspices of the World Health Organization (WHO), which estimates 5 million people die each year from diseases related to smoking.

“Illicit trade in tobacco products contributes to the rise in tobacco consumption and poses a serious threat to health,” the WHO said.

By making cigarettes available at prices two to three times lower than in the shops, smugglers threaten to undermine global efforts to reduce smoking and save lives, WHO officials say.

Governments and police officials say that as well as putting huge amounts of cash into the pockets of dishonest businessmen, the large-scale business also helps finance organized crime.

The draft text under discussion this week — in the form of a protocol to the WHO’s 2004 Framework Convention on Tobacco Control which has been ratified by 157 countries — underlined this danger for global law and order.

The illegal cigarette trade, it says, “generates huge financial profits funding transnational criminal activity which penetrates, contaminates and corrupts government objectives and legitimate commercial and financial businesses at all levels.”

The U.S.-based International Consortium of Investigative Journalists told a news briefing some cigarettes were now being manufactured in the former Soviet Union solely for smuggling, describing them as “the first ever designed-for-crime brand.”  Continued…


Related Posts:

By Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. leaders failed to take meaningful steps to reduce smoking over the past year, with a tobacco regulation bill stalling in Congress and a global treaty gathering dust, a major health group said on Tuesday. In its annual report on U.S. tobacco control efforts, the American Lung Association criticized the Bush

Full Post: Health group blasts inaction on tobacco control

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. states have not lived up to their commitment to devote a major portion of their huge legal settlement with the tobacco industry a decade ago on anti-smoking efforts, health advocacy groups said on Tuesday. In the 10 years since the landmark deal, the states have received $79.2 billion of the settlement and

Full Post: Health groups lash U.S. states over tobacco efforts

PARIS (Reuters) - Cigarette sales in France dropped to a record low in 2008, research by British American Tobacco (BAT) shows, challenging old cliches of Parisians hooked to their Gitanes in smoke-filled cafes. BAT cited bans on smoking in bars and public places as well as high prices as factors encouraging the formerly smoking-mad French to

Full Post: Smoking ban in cafes puts French off cigarettes

Smoking cigarette or any other form of tobacco hampers the health in many ways but, still there are many people who are addicted to this literally bad habit. Smoking is not a disease but, it takes a toll on the life of a person who is a habitual smoker. But, smoking can be seen as

Full Post: Antidepressant Drugs as Stop Smoking Medications

LONDON (Reuters) - The display of cigarettes and tobacco in shops will be banned in England under proposals outlined by Health Secretary Alan Johnson on Tuesday. The move aims to cut the number of young people starting smoking and follows similar measures planned or already imposed in other countries including Scotland and Canada. The government estimates that

Full Post: England to ban tobacco displays in shops

Site Navigation

Most Read