More support for lawsuit

| February 12, 2018

The Dutch addiction treatment sector has thrown its weight behind a lawsuit alleging tobacco companies conspired to get people addicted to their products, according to a story on dutchnews.nl quoting addiction specialist Robert van de Graaf.

‘We’ve had enough,” Van de Graaf was quoted as saying. “The criminal cigarette and all the dealers need to be tackled.”

The sector has been debating throwing its weight behind the case for a year and last week’s statement of support by the biggest Dutch cancer hospital was said to have been the final push. “We need to get on with it,” Van de Graaf said. “This product is so dangerous. It is unbelievable that it is sold in supermarkets.”

The case was started by lung cancer patient Anne Marie van Veen and lawyer Bénédicte Ficq who accused the tobacco firms of alleged ‘deliberate damage to public health’ and ‘forgery of documents’.

They aim not to win damages but to force tobacco companies to behave differently.

They argue that tobacco firms cannot hide behind the freedom of choice of people to smoke because the firms are deliberately influencing smokers’ behavior.

‘To limit that freedom, addictive chemicals such as nicotine and other additives are put into cigarettes,’ they say.

‘And [the companies] overcome our natural aversion to poisons by adding substances like menthol.’

The public prosecution department is currently looking at the complaint and will decide whether or not the tobacco firms have a case to answer.

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Category: Breaking News, Litigation

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