The Framework Convention Alliance for Tobacco Control

Netherlands’ minister denies intensive contact with industry

Anti-smoking groups, MPs and doctors are pressuring the Netherlands’ health minister to clarify her contacts with the tobacco industry.

The pressure stems from a TV documentary called Minister for Tobacco, which features interviews with pro-smoking campaigners, tobacco industry lobbyists and emails sent by the minister Edith Schippers. This showed Schippers had ‘intensive’ contact with the tobacco industry since she became an MP in 2003.

According to Zembla - the Dutch TV program that aired the documentary - since becoming Minister for Health in 2010, Schippers said she had spoken to the tobacco lobby two or three times, however, the Dutch Smoking Tobacco Association (Vereniging  Nederlandse Kerftabak) told Zembla it got to know Mrs Schippers “intensively”  while an MP, holding “one on one meetings” with her.

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