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‘Tobacco industry sponsors student associations’

Cigarette manufacturers are paying student associations to sell their cigarettes…

It is unknown how much JTI will have to cough up exactly, since the company is still allowed to appeal the fines in connection with the on-going investigation. RSC/RVSV isn’t required to pay a fine. The NVWA informed Trouw that its measure specifically targets the sponsor. The Tobacco Investigations Desk – a collective of journalists who scrutinise the tobacco industry – calculated that the fine could run up to 3 million euro.

The arrangements between the tobacco company and the student associations came to light in July 2017, after the journalist collective published a number of reports on the deals. The Tobacco Investigations Desk revealed that JTI had entered into exclusive sale agreements with student associations in Groningen, Amsterdam, Utrecht, Rotterdam, Delft and Maastricht. The manufacturer paid the associations to limit their stock of cigarettes to the JTI brands Camel and Winston. The NVWA launched an investigation in response to these reports.

According to the Tobacco Investigations Desk, a number of the contracts between the manufacturer and student associations – including RSC/RVSV – have since been terminated.