The lawsuit against Imperial Tobacco Benelux, British American Tobacco, Philip Morris and Japan Tobacco International, was launched last March by Dutch anti-cancer association KWF, the Youth Smoking Prevention foundation, and two smoking victims Anne Marie van Veen and Lia Breed.
The NTvG which represents approximately 250 doctors, and the ClaudicationNet foundation, which boasts nearly 2,000 physiotherapists as members, have just announced their decision to join the battle. “We doctors want to take on the tobacco industry together with patients,” said Dink Legemate, a chief surgeon at Amsterdam’s AMC teaching hospital and board member of the NTvG.
“We see the heartache caused by the tobacco industry every day: amputated legs, heart attacks, strokes, people who have shorter lives because they smoked and wrestle with the fact they are going to die.” added Legemate, whilst pointing out that between 70% and 80% of the organisation’s members were in favour of being part of the lawsuit.
Inaccurate labelling of toxic chemicals
Lawsuit founder Anne Marie van Veen, has metastatic lung cancer. She launched the campaign ‘Sick of Smoking’, and is urging anyone who is sick “literally or figuratively” of the tobacco industry practices, to join the fight.
Thinking of future generations
The campaign is not seeking to win damages for patients affected negatively by smoking, but rather to get the major four big tobacco companies convicted for the health crises they have greatly contributed to, in the hope of minimizing the chances of future generations suffering the same fates. The public prosecution department still has to confirm whether it will proceed with a prosecution.