The Dutch cancer association KLF filed suit against four multinational tobacco companies, and now lawyers in 17 other countries are following KLF’s lead and considering doing the same.
NL Times reported that lawyers from 15 countries recently gathered in Switzerland to discuss the Dutch lawsuit, and how to pursue their own legal strategies. Representatives from Germany and Belgium are also interested, but were unable to attend the meeting.
The companies being sued are Philip Morris International, British American Tobacco, Japan Tobacco International and Imperial Tobacco. The Netherlands’ public prosecutor (equivalent to an attorney general) will decide by August if the country itself will prosecute the case.
The Dutch case is the idea of Dutch lawyer Benedicte Ficq and lung cancer specialist Dr. Wanda de Kanter, a well-known tobacco control extremist who is opposed not just to cigarettes and the tobacco industry, but also anything that resembles smoking (like vaping) and any form of tobacco harm reduction.
De Kanter maintains that nicotine is as addictive as cocaine and heroin, according to Dutch vaping advocacy group Acvoda. Of course, there is ample evidence that nicotine without smoke is nowhere near as addictive as those drugs.
Ficq, de Kanter, KWF, and lung cancer victim Anne Marie van Veen are bringing charges of attempted murder or manslaughter, attempted aggravated assault with premeditation, attempted deliberate harm to health with premeditation, and forgery.