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The influence of the tobacco lobby in Dutch politics

Tobacco lobby in Dutch politicsYou don't have to be a paranoid person wearing an aluminum foil hat to see that the tobacco lobby has close ties to governments. But not everyone realizes how much influence “Big Tobacco” has on the Dutch government. On this page we mention some cases where tobacco manufacturers "collaborate" with government agencies, municipalities and even RIVM.

Municipalities are sponsored

Tobacco manufacturer BAT gave Groningen 5000 euros every year for 15 years as a donation to promote Groningen. This was not in accordance with the rules. Bergen op Zoom was not sufficiently transparent about conversations she had with Philip Morris about employment and acquisition. There is a tobacco factory there, the consultation took place behind closed doors. Research showed that at least 12 municipalities communicate with the tobacco lobby about such matters.

Ministry of Finance

Although many documents with communication about customs and the tobacco industry are published on the government website, this offers little insight. In fact, all these e-mails resemble transparency, but hide the crux of the matter through an abundance of information. For example, tobacco manufacturers advise customs on recognizing counterfeit products and illegal routes to the Netherlands. In their own interest, of course.

RIVM and NVWA have tobacco

The influence of the tobacco lobby on the measurement of harmful substances in cigarettes turned out to be so great that government agencies of the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment and the Dutch Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority have withdrawn from the advisory body. As in other cases, the pressure via social media has been decisive here. Interest groups for employers and employees also speak to representatives of tobacco manufacturers because the sector provides a lot of employment. Everything to make the chimney smoke ...

These are only cases that are visible through the smoke screen of the tobacco lobby. "Follow the money" is a common saying when it comes to corruption and abuse of power, in the cigarette industry a lot of money is involved.