Dutch prosecutors say won't open criminal case against big tobacco firms

FILE PHOTO: A woman holds a cigarette in a cafe in Vienna April 10, 2015. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger/File Photo

Thomson Reuters

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Dutch prosecutors on Thursday 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.

(Reporting by Toby Sterling; Editing by Gareth Jones)

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