Tobacco Free Initiative (TFI)

WHO Tobacco Laboratory Network (TobLabNet)

The primary output of the meeting was the formal establishment of WHO TobLabNet – 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 FCTC. TFI is the coordinating body and Secretariat for programmes and activities of the Network. Once capacity is established, 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.

The Network's goal is to establish global tobacco testing and research capacity to test tobacco products for regulatory compliance, to research and develop harmonized standards for contents and emissions testing, to share tobacco research and testing standards and results, to inform risk assessment activities related to the use of tobacco products, and to develop harmonized reporting of such results so that data can be transformed into meaningful trend information that can be compared across countries and over time.

TobLabNet calls for expert advice for overall scientific and technical guidance on issues of tobacco product testing relevant for public health. Such advice and support may be provided by laboratories and must reflect high scientific and technical standards, the widest possible representation of different branches of knowledge, and local experience and trends of tobacco product use throughout the world.

Based on its capabilities, TobLabNet will facilitate training and capacity building of expert advice within TobLabNet and for future members. Laboratories showing a growing capacity to fulfil functions related to the Network's program, as well as laboratories of high scientific and technical standing having attained international recognition, may qualify for designation as TobLabNet collaborators.