Edith Schippers is an extraordinary Health Minister. The smoking lobby consider her a true ally. Prominent doctors talk of her smoking policy with disgust: she is removing the no-smoking ban for smaller establishments in the hospitality sector, and ending campaigns aimed at encouraging people to give up smoking.
Number one cause of death
Tobacco companies are giving her the thumbs up: finally, a minister who listens to them and doesn’t patronise the public. Why is a Health Minister so lenient when it comes to cigarettes? Smoking is still the number one cause of death.
Minister Schippers claims she is barely in contact with the smoking lobby, but ZEMBLA’s investigations reveal that she’s been on a good footing with this lobby for years. ZEMBLA explores Minister Schippers’s motives and the connection between the smoking lobby and politics.
By stopping the anti-smoking public health campaigns and cutting the reimbursement of medication to help people stop smoking, an additional six hundred people will die from smoking-related health issues. This emerges from a study carried out by Maastricht University and Stivoro (Foundation for Public Health and Smoking) into the impact of Health Minister Edith Schippers’s policy. The results of this SimSmoke research are referred to in the ‘ZEMBLA’ episode ‘Minister van Tabak’.