ABOUT THE JATC1 PROJECT
Smoking and other forms of tobacco consumption are considered the major single cause of preventable morbidity and premature mortality worldwide.
Compared to the rest of the world, the World Health Organization’s European Region has one of the highest proportions of deaths attributable to tobacco with an estimated 16% of all deaths among adults over thirty years of age due to tobacco use, compared to the global average of 12%. Around 50% of smokers die prematurely (on average 14 years earlier) and cause a significant drain to the economic wellbeing and excess stress to the healthcare system. Tobacco-related morbidity is expected to have a significant impact on the provision of health care and pose an additional burden to economies within the Eurozone, many of which are already under significant economic constraints. Hence tobacco use and addiction is not only a health risk but its impact on society as a whole is staggering.
“Reporting, assessing and regulating tobacco ingredients are important aspects of an effective and comprehensive tobacco control policy which contributes to the broad objective of promoting good health, reducing tobacco related disease and deliver real benefits to citizens.” (Health Programme – Work Programme for 2016)
According to Eurobarometer
Smoking Prevalence and Mortality in Europe
of the Overall Population
of Young Europeans aged 15-24
of all Deaths among Adults
The EU’s newly adopted binding legislation, the Tobacco Products Directive (TPD), is meant to help reduce the devastation of tobacco-related deaths and illnesses, as is the ongoing implementation of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) that lays down rules governing the manufacture, presentation and sale of tobacco and related products, including cigarettes, roll your own tobacco, pipe tobacco, cigars, cigarillos, smokeless tobacco, electronic cigarettes, novel tobacco and herbal products for smoking.
The TPD is a complex legislative document that supports the functioning of the internal market of tobacco products in the EU. One key aspect of this binding legislation is the development of an EU-common reporting format for submitting data on ingredients contained in tobacco and related products and for disclosing the collected data to the public. This JATC1 aims to offer significant added value, as it addresses the issue of tobacco product monitoring at an EU-wide level, which could not be done by one or even a few Member States alone.
The TPD (2014/40/EU) entered into force on 19 May 2014 and became applicable in the EU Member States (EU MS) on 20 May 2016.
- Support the dissemination of information to the target groups
- Facilitate the access to data collected through the EU Common Entry Gate (EU CEG)
- Monitor and provide support to the tasks of tobacco and e-cigarette products regulation
- Assist networking and collaborations between MS laboratories for tobacco products and e-cigarettes evaluation
- Support MS in the process of monitoring and updating priority additives
- Integrate the JATC1 results into national policies
30 scientific and governmental institutions from across Europe are active members of the JATC1 tasks, while 13 more international stakeholders participate as collaborating partners.
The JATC1 seeks to reach a variety of primary target groups for the project’s outcome and communication activities:
EU Regulators and Policymakers
The main project’s target group, due to their direct relevance with the topics covered by the JATC1. All JATC1 performed actions and tasks have to be addressed to EU MS Regulators within the context of TPD implementation at a national level.
International and National Tobacco Control Stakeholders
A secondary group that will benefit from the amount of information that will be released with regards to tobacco and e-cigarette product development, legislation and product safety.
The engagement of additional researchers would increase the potential utility of the findings for the production of scientific evidence.
The general public would be able to obtain further information on tobacco product descriptors and ingredients and increase their health literacy. The JATC1 outcome will indirectly influence the 508 million people (smokers and non-smokers) covered by the legislative articles of the TPD.
As a JATC1 aggregate outcome, the enhancement of regulatory vigilance on tobacco product evolution and development will protect European Public Health through the increased awareness of product related data including, but not limited to, ingredients, additives, design parameters, toxicological data and emissions, which will also set standards for product placement in the EU market.
The expected outcomes are set by the WPs as follow:
Increased EU MS implementation of the TPD through the provision of support and technical/scientific capacity to EU regulators.
Increased EU MS regulator training through the provision of capacity building (tool-kits, e-learning).
Common approach on handling tobacco product evidence based decisions across EU MS, within the context of their national legislative approach.
Increased data sharing and collaborations between EU MS on tobacco product regulatory science.
Responses to questions on “burning topics” as brought forward by EU MS regulators.
Increased literacy on tobacco product design, constituents and toxicity by regulators and the public.
Close monitoring of e-cigarette compliance to the TPD across the EU MS.
Increased knowledge of e-cigarette design parameters, ingredients and emissions.
Enhanced collaborations between EU MS laboratories for tobacco product ingredient and emission measurements.
Increased scientific scrutiny and decisions on potential priority additives within tobacco products.
Greater access to data on tobacco products and e-cigarettes which would be able to fuel population awareness and enhance research and policy actions.