Addiction treatment providers join Dutch hospitals' lawsuit against tobacco industry

The Dutch Network for Addiction Care, an umbrella organization for various organizations dealing with addiction, is joining a major lawsuit against the tobacco industry. "The cigarette is a criminal product and all 'dealers' must be dealt with. This product is so harmful. It's unbelievable that it is just in the supermarket", spokesperson Robert van de Graaf of the network said to AD.

Lawyer Benedicte Ficq is handling this lawsuit, which is now supported by the Antoni van Leeuwenhoek hospital in Amsterdam, the University Medical Center in Groningen, a number of lung cancer patients, cancer association KWF and various civil society organizations. 

The parties involved in the lawsuit are accusing the four large tobacco producers in the Netherlands of aggravated assault with death as result. It is now up to the Public Prosecution Service to decide whether or not the tobacco companies can be prosecuted. Last week Marieke van der Molen of the Public Prosecution Service could not tell AD when the decision will be made. "This is legally a very complex case."

Annually around 20 thousand people in the Netherlands die as a result of smoking, according to