Latvia one of the first countries in the European Region to ratify the protocol on illicit trade

The Latvian Parliament ratified the Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products on 12 November 2015, and the Latvian President announced the new law. Latvia is the fifth country in the WHO European Region to ratify the Protocol following Austria, Portugal, Spain and Turkmenistan.

As of end of November 2015, globally 11 countries have ratified the Protocol. 40 ratifications are needed for the Protocol to enter into force.

The Protocol aims to eliminate or reduce illicit trade and reduce consumption by increasing price and thereby decreasing premature deaths. An estimate for the illicit cigarette market in Europe varies between 6% and 10%. If illicit trade were eliminated in Europe, governments would gain additional revenue. To address these crucial issues, it is of highest priority that all governments in Europe ratify the Protocol as an important means for countries to increase revenue, as well as to reduce tobacco-related mortality and morbidity.