Amsterdam, Utrecht to join lawsuit against tobacco industry

People smoking on a platform at Amsterdam Amstel Station, 8 Feb 2018
People smoking on a platform at Amsterdam Amstel Station, 8 Feb 2018. (Photo: Zachary Newmark / NL Times)

The municipalities of Amsterdam and Utrecht announced that they will support a lawsuit filed against the tobacco industry. Lawyer Benedicte Ficq, acting on behalf of multiple hospitals, lung cancer patients, cancer association KWF, and addiction centers, is accusing the four largest tobacco producers in the Netherlands of aggravated assault with death as a result.

Amsterdam announced its decision to support this lawsuit on Wednesday afternoon. "We already do a lot to reduce smoking, and especially keep it out of sight of children", a spokesperson for alderman Eric van der Burg said to the Volkskrant. "For example, smoking is no longer allowed on the ferries across the IJ, on the outdoor areas of pools and on the ice rink in the Olympic Stadium. We are still talking to Artis and museums to keep smoking out of sight of children there."

Banning smoking completely in public spaces is not possible, the spokesperson said. But supporting this lawsuit sends another statement.

A few hours later, Utrecht alderman Victor Everhardt announced that Utrecht will also support the lawsuit, according to the newspaper.