WHO: Saudi joins protocol to fight illicit tobacco trade
"As one of the countries that signed this international pact early, it will contribute to the well-being of humanity as a whole," said Tawfik Khoja. (Al Bawaba/File)
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The World Health Organization has announced that the Kingdom has become the first Arab country and the tenth internationally to join the protocol to eliminate illicit trade in tobacco products. The announcement was made by the director general of the executive board of the Health Ministers' Council for the Gulf Cooperation Council States, Tawfik Khoja.
Khoja congratulated Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman, along with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Naif, Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Minister of Health Khalid Al-Falih on their momentous achievement. Specifically, he thanked them all for their efforts in making the Kingdom part of the global campaign against illegal tobacco dealings.
“As one of the countries that signed this international pact early, it will contribute to the well-being of humanity as a whole. Such a forward-thinking step is not unusual for the Kingdom and its wise leadership.
We hope, as health care professionals and officials, that this move by the Kingdom will help to decrease the supply and demand of tobacco and will consequently contribute to fighting tobacco-related illnesses that exhaust financial resources and which also put lives in danger,” Khoja said.
“This Kingdom has always been very active and effective in global initiatives related to tobacco control and in implementing the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control Policies (MPOWER),” he pointed out.
The objective of this protocol is to eliminate illicit trade in tobacco products. The protocol has 47 articles and four annexes related to licensing, tracing, tracking and record keeping, as well as sections related to security and internet sales of illicit tobacco products.
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