RIVM works in close contact with various (inter)national health research institutes and universities. They exchange information about national trends in tobacco products and legislation and collaborate on scientific research projects.

Joint Action on Tobacco Control

Within the framework of the Joint Action on Tobacco Control (JATC), European countries unite to contribute to reducing tobacco-related morbidity and mortality in Europe. The first JATC (2017 – 2020) aimed to strengthen the cooperation between the Member States within the area of tobacco control, specifically concerning enforcement of the Tobacco Products Directive, the Tobacco Advertising Directive and to develop a common ground for strategies on smoke-free environments and tobacco endgame strategies. The partners of JATC 2 (2021 – 2024) are also committed in the new Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan where EU Member States stand together in the fight against tobacco, and in promoting activities consistent with the objectives of the WHO FCTC.
In JATC 2, RIVM leads a work package that investigates the health impact and regulatory implications of e-cigarettes and novel tobacco products, such as heated tobacco products. To this end, we analyse product composition data provided by manufacturers as well as data from literature. We also conduct questionnaires to investigate the implementation of product regulation and administration of adverse events in the European countries. Results are expected in 2024.

World Health Organization

RIVM proudly hosts a WHO Collaborating Centre for tobacco product regulation and control. RIVM supports WHO in its tobacco regulation work, in particular on work related to Article 9 and 10 of the FCTC. For example, RIVM is (steering committee) member of WHO Tobacco Laboratory Network (TobLabNet). In this network, RIVM participates in method development and validation, and provides training and support in tobacco products testing. This leads to many collaborations with other tobacco laboratories. This work includes measuring novel tobacco and nicotine products such as new generation nicotine delivery systems. RIVM also evaluates the effects of sugars and flavourings in tobacco products and made an inventory of flavouring accessories on various markets worldwide. As members of the WHO Study Group on Tobacco Product Regulation (TobReg), RIVM researchers participate in drafting evidence-based recommendations on regulating tobacco and nicotine products. RIVM is also a member of the steering committee of the Global Tobacco Regulators Forum (GTRF).

University of Minnesota

Together with the University of Minnesota, RIVM studies the effects of sugars in tobacco. Sugars enhance smoke palatability, appeal, toxicity, and potentially addictiveness. Levels of sugars in cigarette tobacco are determined by tobacco blending and processing techniques, as well as by addition of sugars to the cigarette blend, and therefore can be regulated to protect public health. This study will generate critically lacking data on sugar effects in U.S. cigarettes and related exposures and effects in U.S. smokers, informing the U.S. FDA on the potential regulatory measures.

Universities and research groups

RIVM has many collaborations with national and international experts in the field of tobacco regulatory science. For example, RIVM works together with Health Canada, Roswell Park, Yale University, University of Virginia, University of Southern California and the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR). RIVM is also in close contact with Dutch institutes such as Trimbos, Hartstichting and Longfonds.


RIVM conducts research to inform the Dutch Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport of developments and support tobacco product regulation that protects public health. RIVM also supports the Dutch Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA) in its task of verifying compliance of tobacco manufacturers to (European) legal regulations and guidelines. RIVM receives, analyses and checks data provided by tobacco manufacturers about their products. Office for Risk Assessment & Research (BuRO) of the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA) supports RIVMs PhD candidates.