Sri Lanka has signed the United Nations Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products. According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the move was in effect from February 8, 2016. Fifteen Parties have so far ratified the Protocol.

According to experts, illicit trade in tobacco products threatens the health of the population, causing as many as 6 million deaths annually worldwide, as well as fostering criminality and reducing tax revenues.

Reports said the Protocol aimed to secure the supply chain of tobacco products through a series of government measures. Accordingly, it requires the establishment of a global tracking and tracing regime within five years of the Protocol’s entry into force, comprising national and regional tracking and tracing systems and a global information sharing point located within the Secretariat of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC).