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Medvedev Signs International Protocol on Illegal Tobacco Sales

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has ordered the signature of a protocol to the World Health Organization's framework convention against smoking that will address illegal sales of tobacco products, the government's press service reported Tuesday.

The document contains provisions concerning the control of supply channels for tobacco products using a global tracking mechanism. It will incorporate similar systems on the national and regional levels, as well as a global data center that will use its data to identify tobacco products, track their origin, production technologies and distribution channels.

The protocol also establishes cooperation between law enforcement agencies of different countries, which is expected to prevent illegal distribution of tobacco products using counterfeit excise stamps and their further sale, the report said.

Medvedev also signed a provision authorizing monitoring and assessing the efficiency of the steps aimed at preventing the harmful effects of tobacco smoke and the general reduction of tobacco use. These functions will be carried out by the Health Ministry, the Federal Consumer Protection Service and the State Statistics Service, the government's press service said.

Russia joined the WHO framework convention against smoking in 2008.

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