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Stop illicit trade of tobacco products

"Stop illicit trade of tobacco products" is the theme for World No Tobacco Day 2015. This year, WHO is highlighting the magnitude of the illicit trade problem, the threat it poses, and the action needed to control it.

WHO is calling on countries to work together to end the illicit trade of tobacco products and advocate for effective policies to reduce tobacco consumption.

The specific goals for this year’s campaign include:

raising awareness about the harm to people’s health caused by the illicit trade in tobacco products, especially young people and low-income groups, due to the increased accessibility and affordability of these products due to their lower costs.

showing how health care gains and programmes, tobacco control policies, like increased tax and prices, pictorial health warnings and other measures are undermined by the illicit trade in tobacco products.

demonstrating how the tobacco industry has been involved in the illicit trade of tobacco products.

highlighting how the illicit trade of tobacco products is a means of amassing great wealth for criminal groups to finance other organized crime activities, including drugs, human and arms trafficking, as well as terrorism.

promoting 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, and its early entry into force through the active involvement of all relevant stakeholders.

Tobacco is the only legal consumer product that kills when used exactly as intended by the manufacturer. Projections show that one billion people will lose their lives as a result of tobacco-related illnesses this century. World No Tobacco Day is WHO's opportunity to save lives and to limit the damage caused by tobacco use.

Key messages for this year's World No Tobacco Day are:

illicit trade of tobacco products is detrimental to your health and your interests.

illicit tobacco products hook young people into tobacco experimentation and use.

illicit trade takes tax revenue away from the government.

illicit trade strengthens corruption and weakens good governance.

tobacco companies have been known to use loopholes in tobacco control governance systems and indulge in the illicit trade of tobacco products.