Tobacco Free Initiative (TFI)

The First Meeting of the International Network on Tobacco Testing and Research for Regulation (INTTARR) on 28 & 29 April 2005 in The Hague, The Netherlands

Participants at the First Meeting of the International Network on Tobacco Testing and Research for Regulation

This meeting was co-hosted by the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, The Netherlands (RIVM) and the European Network of Government Laboratories on Tobacco and Tobacco Products (ENGL). The purpose of this meeting was to create a global laboratory network in order to establish capacity for tobacco product testing and research in order to provide a science base for improving public health through tobacco product regulation.

Testing and measuring tobacco products at the national or regional level is essential to monitor compliance of tobacco manufacturers of their contents and emissions testing and disclosure obligations under the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. In addition, regulators would want to have the capacity to test and measure the contents and emissions of tobacco products in order to propose tobacco content and emissions regulations in the future. Furthermore, capacity for testing and research is one of the factors needed to ensure that manufacturers package and label their products in a manner that does not mislead consumers about the health risks of tobacco products.

The need for creating regional and global capacity for tobacco testing and research has been articulated by several WHO Member States and WHO collaborating agencies. In recognition of this growing concern, WHO Tobacco Free Initiative (TFI), the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the US National Cancer Institute, and members of the WHO Study Group on Tobacco Product Regulation (TobReg) met in March 2004 in Bethesda, Maryland. Recommendations from this meeting were further discussed during the TobReg meeting in October 2004 in Montebello, Canada. For the foregoing reasons laid out above, the participants at the Montebello meeting further reiterated the need to establish a global network of tobacco testing and research laboratories. Towards this end, this first TobLabNet meeting made the necessary transition from vision to reality.