Tobacco product regulation: basic handbook
WHO has launched a handbook on tobacco product regulation in response to the need for clear, practical guidance on tobacco product regulation.
Although tobacco product use is a major public health problem, tobacco products are one of the few openly available consumer products that are virtually unregulated in terms of contents and emissions. Countries hesitate to implement regulations in this area, partly due to the challenges associated with the regulation of tobacco products, the highly technical nature of this policy intervention and the difficulties in translating science into regulation. The handbook provides authoritative guidance on tobacco product regulation, especially in line with the requirements of Articles 9 and 10, in response to countries’ requests. Failure to regulate tobacco products represents a missed opportunity as tobacco product regulation, in the context of comprehensive control, is a valuable tool that could complement other tried and tested tobacco control interventions, such as raising taxes, smoke-free environments, etc.
The “Tobacco product regulation: basic handbook” provides a basic reference document for non-scientist regulators in any country and serves as a tool for health authorities and other interested parties seeking resources and planning on how to monitor, evaluate, and regulate tobacco products. Further, the handbook includes relevant country case studies detailing specific approaches enacted globally.
WHO published a guide on building laboratory testing capacity in 2018 to guide countries interested in developing or accessing tobacco product testing capacity to support their regulatory authority. Both publications call for country prioritization and commitment of resources to tobacco product regulation, as the useful information provided in these documents will help to strengthen tobacco regulation capacity, especially in relation to Articles 9 and 10 of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.