Third Meeting of the WHO Study Group on Tobacco Product Regulation (TobReg) in Kobe, Japan, 28 June-1 July, 2006
The third meeting of the WHO Study Group on Tobacco Product Regulation (TobReg) was held 28 June to 1 July, 2006 in Kobe, Japan. Financial support for the meeting was provided by the Ministry of Health of Japan and the venue was made available by the WHO Kobe Centre.
Meeting agenda items for the first three days were:
- finalization of the TobReg Biomarkers of Exposure paper that is planned for publishing as part of a WHO Technical Report Series;
- discussion on the impact of additives and design features on tobacco product use, toxicity, and addictiveness. Discussion:
- highlight research challenges and provide guidance as to what additives and design features in tobacco products should be examined in cigarette testing globally, and
- identify critical research questions and make data collection recommendations as part of the disclosure requirement articulated in Article 10 of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (Article 10 requires manufacturers to disclose contents, emissions and design features of every tobacco brand to national tobacco control enforcement agencies of countries that are Contracting Parties to the Framework Convention); and
- discussion on the issue of harm reduction. Discussion:
- identify strategies designed to reduce the harms related to tobacco and/or nicotine exposure without requiring complete cessation of tobacco use, and
- emphasize WHO's support of harm reduction strategies, such as evidence based non-tobacco treatments, while highlighting the lack of scientific and medical evidence that switching to smokeless tobacco is an effective harm reduction strategy.
The fourth day of the meeting, 1 July, 2006, was dedicated to initiating the drafting of a guideline for the implementation of Articles 9 and 10 of the WHO Framework Convention. Participants included the TobReg members, other international tobacco product regulation experts, and Contracting Parties identified as key facilitators (Canada, the European Community and Norway) during the first session of the Conference of the Parties to the WHO Framework Convention, as well as those Parties that have offered to Partner, such as, Brazil, China, Denmark, Finland, Hungary, Jordan, Kenya, Mexico and Netherlands. The draft guidelines will be presented to the Conference of the Parties to the Treaty at its second session in first half of 2007.