Dutch gov't named in tobacco lawsuit

The Foundation Youth Smoking Prevention (Rookpreventie Jeugd) is suing the Dutch government because of their existing relationship with the tobacco industry. The government will be informed of the summons today or tomorrow, AD.nl reports.

The Dutch government is accused of not complying with the international anti-tobacco treaty (the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control) of the World Health Organization (WHO). 179 countries, including the Netherlands, signed an agreement that the tobacco industry will have no influence in the smoking discouraging policy that serves in those countries.

According to Youth Smoking Prevention, the Netherlands absolutely does not comply with this, AD.nl reports. Through the website Tabaknee.nl, the foundation shows that the government even invites the tobacco industry to bring in their positions in the policy development.

Major drivers of the website Tabaknee.nl and the foundation for Youth Smoking Prevention are lung specialists Wanda de Kanter and Pauline Dekker. The website was launched in March 2013.

From the outset they made quite a stir through the harsh tones used to describe professors, politicians and business people with their "sneaky" support for the tobacco industry. For example Minister Edith Schippers of Health, Welfare and Sport was put down as the "Minister of Tobacco Employers".

De Kanter and Dekker have been performing actions against smoking for years. They decided to take a more brutal approach because, according to them, the tobacco industry has too much influence behind the scenes.