Dutch prosecutors reject call to open criminal case against big tobacco firms

A formal complaint was filed in 2016 accusing four major tobacco companies of a range of offences, including misleading marketing and causing deaths.
A formal complaint was filed in 2016 accusing four major tobacco companies of a range of offences, including misleading marketing and causing deaths.PHOTO: AFP

AMSTERDAM (REUTERS) - Dutch prosecutors on Thursday (Feb 22) rejected a call by civil groups, hospitals and the city of Amsterdam to open a criminal case against major tobacco companies, saying the firms had adequately warned smokers of the health risks.

The groups filed a formal complaint in 2016 accusing four major tobacco companies of a range of offences, including misleading marketing and causing deaths.

"It is the smoker - aware of the health risks - who accepts the considerable chance of any resulting health damage by starting to smoke or, having already started, not choosing to quit," the prosecutors said in a statement dismissing the case.