RIVM has more than ten years experience in the assessment of ingredients lists delivered by the tobacco industry. Tobacco manufacturers (and importers) are legally required to yearly specify all additives in each of their tobacco products, together with their quantities, functions and health effects.

Nowadays, the industry must submit ingredient lists by using EMTOC (Electronic Model Tobacco Control). This web application was developed in a European context with RIVM as project leader. Many other European countries use this system. RIVM collects data on these additives in order to identify them, to assess their risk and to inform the consumer. RIVM also hosts a database specifying these ingredients. The ingredient lists are readily available to the public (per brand and type).

RIVM and the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) created fact sheets on tobacco additives such as sugars, menthol and vanilllin. The fact sheets aim to inform professionals and the public on the general uses, tobacco industry uses and harmful health effects of selected tobacco additives. For more than 14 additives fact sheets were disseminated via RIVM and DKFZ websites. Facts presented in the version for professionals provide guidance to policy makers regarding regulation of the contents of tobacco products.

The fact sheets have been created in the framework of the EU European Union (European Union) project Public Information Tobacco Control (PITOC). The fact sheets for the public have been translated by all 16 partners of the project to their national languages and have been disseminated via their websites. This initiative has received funding from The European Union in the framework of the Health Programme.