Dutch cancer hospital attempts to sue the tobacco industry

Dutch cancer hospital files lawsuit

Antoni van Leeuwenhoek cancer hospital in Amsterdam has accused four large tobacco companies of fraud and causing grievous bodily harm. The Dutch cancer hospital have just filed a lawsuit against them for this. The four companies involved are: Imperial Tobacco, Philip Morris, Japan Tobacco and British American Tobacco. An ongoing lawsuit has been against these companies since 2016.

This was released today in a press release.

Effects of smoking

The chairman of the board of directors of the hospital, René Medema, stated that they were constantly looking for new solutions to treat cancer. Meanwhile, tobacco companies are overriding this by knowingly making people addicted to cigarettes. They feel as though they are fighting a losing battle.

The hospital stated that 30% of cancer patients at the hospital are there because of the effects of smoking tobacco. At least 55 people per day die in the Netherlands from smoking. These are shocking statistics to say the least.

As a result of this, the hospital wants to shift the blame away from the smokers and onto the companies themselves. They stated:

Our aim is to understand
and improve the treatment of cancer and it can not be that this is not achieved and is being
traversed by tobacco producers

They argue that ‘freedom of choice’ is not a good enough reason for tobacco companies not to take responsibility. Their freedom of choice goes out of the window when they are then addicted to the substance. The hospital is now encouraging other hospitals to get on board and join the lawsuit. They are aiming to work towards a smoke-free society.

dutch cancer hospital no smoking
Time to stop blaming people and start blaming companies instead?

They are the first Dutch hospital attempting to take the industry to court and if this goes to plan, this will be the first time in history that tobacco factories have been prosecuted. Will the Netherlands be the first!?

This is an interesting debate and we would love to know your thoughts. So, what do you think? Let us know in the comments.

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Emma Brown
A familiar face at DutchRevew. Emma arrived in Holland in 2016 for a few weeks, fell in love with the place and never left. Here she rekindled her love of writing and travelling. Now you'll find her eating stroopwafels in the DutchReview office since 2017.

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