A cigarette, a drink or a joint. Many people have some degree of experience with these ‘stimulants’. They find tobacco, alcohol or drugs to have a pleasant, relaxing or uplifting effect.
The use of stimulants is nothing new. However, we now know that they can have harmful effects, which vary according to the stimulant and the user. To develop effective policy, the government must carefully monitor the use of stimulants, their effects and the health risks they represent.
European directives require tobacco manufacturers to inform the Dutch government of all additives to be found in their products. Consumers should also be aware of the ingredients which go into tobacco products. RIVM checks the veracity of the information provided by manufacturers and informs the public accordingly. We also conduct research into ingredients and additives for the World Health Organization, and we run international courses for experts in this field.
RIVM administers the Coordination Point for the Assessment and Monitoring of New Drugs (CAM), an advisory organ of the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport.
RIVM experts advise on the harmful effects of all stimulants, notably tobacco, alcohol and drugs.
Most of our research in this area is commissioned by the
national government. At the European level, RIVM is an
acknowledged authority in tobacco research. The work of the
Coordination Point for the Assessment and Monitoring of New Drugs
has also earned international recognition.