I am Anne Marie van Veen (43), mother of four fantastic children and wife of Rob. In 2014, I learned that I have metastasized lung cancer. I have smoked for 24 years and, like most smokers, started when I was a teenager. I tried to stop several times. That did not work, because I was addicted. I kept getting tempted to start again.
Through the film “De Vervangers” (“The Replacements”), I discovered that I was intentionally led into addiction as a child. The tobacco industry does their very best to get young people addicted to tobacco by adding hundreds of substances and through aggressive marketing and lobby strategies. They call children replacement smokers, who have to take the place of smokers who die prematurely.
I am not going to let that happen to my children. The tobacco industry has already destroyed me. They will not get to my children. Soon I will not be around to raise them anymore. With the help of the well-known criminal attorney Bénédicte Ficq from Meijering, van Kleef, Ficq en van der Werf (MKFW), I filed a formal complaint against the tobacco industry on the 29th of September. The Public Prosecutor is now studying the case.
To be clear: I do not want damage compensation. I want the courts to confirm that the tobacco industry is criminally liable by making people (read: youths) addicted with malice and intent to a product that they know damages people’s health. In law, that is called “attempted murder,” “manslaughter,” and “aggravated assault.” Tobacco has to be stopped. I simply do not want my children to be able to get tobacco anymore.
I am incredibly pleased with the message that general practitioners and medical specialists are financially supporting the fight against the tobacco industry. The association of Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Geneeskunde (“Dutch Journal of Medicine”; NTvG), of which more than 250 doctors are members, has made 100,000 euros available for, among other things, the criminal case against the tobacco industry.
Sick of Smoking
It is not normal that the tobacco industry claims so many victims and yet can carry on with its business without disruption. That has to end. Sick of Smoking unites everyone who is literally or figuratively sick of the practices of the tobacco industry. Sick of Smoking bundles strengths to act in unison.