TFI Selects Chair and Vice Chair to the WHO Tobacco Laboratory Network (TobLabNet)
Geneva, 25 April 2006 - TFI is pleased to announce that Dr David L. Ashley and Dr Antoon Opperhuizen have been elected as the new Chair and Vice Chair of TobLabNet, respectively. WHO TobLabNet was established as a global network of government, academic, and independent laboratories to strengthen national and regional capacity for the testing and research of the contents and emissions of tobacco products, pursuant to Article 9 of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC). TobLabNet will be positioned as a primary source of laboratory support, methods development, and scientific information in the areas of tobacco testing and research for national governments to fulfill their requirements and needs related to the WHO FCTC. TFI is confident that David L. Ashley and Dr Antoon Opperhuizen will provide TobLabNet with committed, highly qualified, and experienced leadership.
Dr David L. Ashley is currently the Chief of Emergency Response and Air Toxicants Branch in the Division of Laboratory Sciences for the National Center for Environmental Health of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the United States. He has published extensively in the area of biomonitoring and tobacco analysis. He is a member of the WHO Study Group on Tobacco Regulation (TobReg) and was a primary contributor to the first TobReg Recommendation entitled “Guiding Principles for the Development of Tobacco Product Research and Testing Capacity and Proposed Protocols for the Initiation of Tobacco Product Testing”. This document outlined the principles behind tobacco product testing as needed to address Articles 9, 10, and 11.
As one of the original contributors to the development of TobLabNet, he helped establish the guiding principles that directed this effort. He led the effort by TobLabNet to perform a round robin testing of tar, nicotine, and carbon monoxide as an initial evaluation of network capabilities and the system processes for these labs to act in a collaborative manner.
Dr Antoon Opperhuizen is the Head of the Laboratory of Toxicology, Pathology, and Genetics, of the National Institute of Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) in The Netherlands. His expertise makes him a highly qualified selection as Vice Chair of TobLabNet, one in which TFI is proud to have in such a vital position for the further development of research and testing of the contents and emissions of tobacco products.
In collaboration with TFI, which is the Secretariat and Coordinating Body of TobLabNet, the Chair, assisted by the Vice Chair, will be responsible for the overall management of TobLabNet, including chairing the Steering Committee and providing goals and assignments for all TobLabNet subcommittees and working groups. The Chair of TobLabNet will collaborate with TFI and the TobReg Chair on important matters relating to TobLabNet through any means necessary and through reports produced within TobLabNet. The Chair and Vice Chair will coordinate resources within TobLabNet for laboratory support, methods development, and scientific information in the areas of tobacco testing and research for national governments to help fulfill their technical requirements and needs related to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC).
Both, Dr Ashley and Dr Opperhuizen will lead TobLabNet's contribution to aid in the fight against the deadly effects of tobacco.