Anti-smoking organisations to go to court over toxic cigarettes
19 anti-smoking organisations and the city council of Amsterdam are to appear in court over toxic cigarettes containing too much tar, nicotine and carbon monoxide.
Netherlands National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) carried out tests on different cigarettes; these revealed prohibited levels of tar, nicotine and carbon monoxide. The Dutch word for cigarettes with prohibited levels of these substances is “sjoemelsigaret.”
In the Netherlands, cigarettes are only allowed to contain 10 mg of tar, 1 mg of nicotine and 10 mg of carbon monoxide. While every cigarette brand claims they are following these guidelines, the tests from the RIVM tell a different story. 43 out of 100 cigarettes surpassed the allowed levels for the toxic substances.
The sjoemelsigarets are overlooked by the measuring methods used by the NVWA, the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority, as they maintain a 20 percent margin of error. Due to this margin of error, only one cigarette company, Lexington, has ever been fined. The size of the fine is unknown.
Anti-smoking campaigners to go to court
Stichting Rookpreventie Jeugd, an organisation that aims to prevent young people from smoking, petitioned the NVWA to ban the offending cigarettes, however, this was rejected. A similar petition to the Ministry of Health was also rejected. The campaigners have now put their case to the administrative court in Rotterdam. The court will look at the case on Monday.