India: Ministry of Health and Family Welfare holds multisectoral consultation on illicit trade

The Indian Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, in cooperation with the Ministry of Finance and WHO, marked World No-Tobacco Day 2015 by holding a National multi-sectoral consultation on the Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products. The participants discussed ways to improve India’s policies in line with the Protocol and to speed up its ratification. The event saw broad participation and contributions from a range of non-health agencies central to the prevention and control of illicit tobacco trade, including the Central Board of Customs and Excise, its Anti-smuggling unit, Revenue and Excise intelligence directorates, tax research units, Customs and Excise wings, State commercial tax and food safety commissioners and civil society organisations.

World No-Tobacco Day and the problem of illicit trade were covered by various media in India. Prime Minister Narendra Modi issued a statement saying: “World No Tobacco Day reminds us of the harms associated with tobacco consumption and a day to reaffirm our commitment to reduce this menace. The World Health Organization’s focus on stopping illicit trade of tobacco products is a laudatory effort that will help in minimising tobacco consumption.”

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