US - The New York City pension funds have called for reports from three US pharmacy chains on how they are responding to increasing pressures to stop the sale of tobacco products.
The proposal notes that the companies continue to sell cigarettes and other tobacco products - despite the banning of such products by other major prescription drug retailers.
It specifically requests that the board of directors prepare a report - to be made available to shareholders by November 30, 2009 - on how the company is responding to rising regulatory, competitive and public pressures to halt sales of tobacco products."
Collectively, the pension funds hold 5,270,553 shares in CVS, Rite Aid and SUPERVALU.
Thompson plans to submit the proposal to other pharmacy chains for the consideration and vote of their shareholders in the 2009 proxy season.
He said: "Cigarette smoking continues to be a leading cause of illness and premature death in the United States. As such, there has been increased pressure to have pharmacies stop selling tobacco products.
"Pharmacy chains like CVS and Rite Aid, and combined food and drug stores like SUPERVALU Inc., have a responsibility to assess this deepening public concern and to disclose to their shareholders how they are responding, or intend to respond, to these mounting pressures."
The funds involved in the action are: New York City Employees' Retirement System (NYCERS); Teachers' Retirement System for the City of New York (TRS); New York City Police Pension Fund; New York City Fire Department Pension Fund; and the New York City Board of Education Retirement System (BERS),
The resolution can be viewed at online here
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