Intended for healthcare professionals


Dutch health minister is quizzed about “intensive” contact with tobacco industry

BMJ 2011; 343 doi: (Published 03 November 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;343:d7137
  1. Tony Sheldon
  1. 1Utrecht

The Dutch health minister Edith Schippers has come under pressure from MPs, doctors, and anti-smoking groups to clarify her contacts with the tobacco industry after a critical television documentary entitled Minister of Tobacco.

The documentary programme Zembla featured camera interviews with tobacco industry lobbyists and pro-smoking campaigners and quoted emails sent by Mrs Schippers. They concluded that since becoming an MP in 2003 Mrs Schippers has had “intensive” contact with the tobacco industry (

Last year Mrs Schippers became minister of health and told MPs that as health spokesperson for the People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) she had spoken to the tobacco lobby maybe “two or three times.”

But the Dutch Smoking Tobacco Association (Vereniging Nederlandse Kerftabak) told …

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