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12 Countries Sign U.N. Treaty To Fight Illegal Tobacco Trade

“Twelve countries [on Thursday] signed a new United Nations treaty that aims to counter the illegal tobacco trade, which undermines regulation policies and represents a burden for health care systems,” the U.N. News Centre reports (1/10). “The Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products was signed by representatives from China, France, Gabon, Libya, Myanmar, Nicaragua, Panama, South Korea, South Africa, Syria, Turkey, and Uruguay during a ceremony held at the headquarters of U.N.’s World Health Organization [WHO] in Geneva,” RTT News writes (1/10). “The new protocol aims to help protect people across the globe from the health risks of tobacco, which kills nearly six million people every year,” the U.N. News Centre notes, adding, “Approximately one person dies every six seconds due to tobacco and this accounts for one in 10 adult deaths” (1/10). “The protocol gives the world a unique legal instrument for countering and eventually eliminating a sophisticated international criminal activity that costs a lot, especially for health,” WHO Director-General Margaret Chan said at the ceremony, a WHO press release states (1/10).