Shadow report bashes Dutch Government on tobacco control

Congratulations to Dutch NGOs, who on Thursday released a shadow report of the government’s own report on its implementation of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC).

Titled ‘Dutch Tobacco Control: Out of Control?’ the report concludes:

“The situation in the Netherlands with respect to Article 5.3 is worrying, with the tobacco industry being routinely consulted on tobacco control issues. The government even holds the view that it is good to consult the industry so as to seek a ‘balanced’ opinion on tobacco control matters.”

In the Preface, FCA Director Laurent Huber writes: “The Dutch government is one of the only governments in the world to voluntarily move backward in tobacco control… The Dutch government does not seem to care about the 23,000 Dutch men and women who die every year due to first and second-hand tobacco smoke and seems to be more concerned about the health of the tobacco industry than the health of its citizens.

The report, an initiative of the Dutch Cancer Society (KWF Kankerbestrijding), the Asthma Foundation (Astma Fonds), and the Dutch Heart Foundation (Hartstichting), recommends that the Government:

  • Develop a comprehensive tobacco control policy and take measures to prevent interference from the tobacco industry.
  • Raise tobacco excise duties in large enough increments to reduce tobacco consumption.
  • End exemptions from smoke-free legislation and improve enforcement.
  • Prohibit the use of additives in tobacco products
  • Disclose information about tobacco product ingredients to the public.
  • Renew messages on warning labels and include pictorials.
  • Run mass media campaigns about the risks of smoking and exposure to second-hand smoke.
  • Ban tobacco advertisement and promotion comprehensively, including at points of sale.
  • Develop a national smoking cessation strategy including reimbursement of tobacco dependence treatment.
  • Ban cigarette vending machines.
  • Pay attention to the environmental impact of tobacco production and consumption.
  • Establish a tobacco control fund and coordinate scientific tobacco control research.
  • Allocate more financial resources for tobacco control as part of the FCTC.

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