UK - Doctors are urging local government pension schemes to ditch their investments in tobacco companies because they are "unethical" and lead to the death of thousands.
NHS health campaigners said the millions of pounds ploughed into cigarette manufacturers from local government pension funds are keeping tobacco firms afloat and should no longer form part of a council schemes' portfolio.
"If it were my pension contributions being invested in an industry whose only product line killed people in the numbers that die from tobacco, I would be absolutely horrified," NHS regional director of public health for the South-West Dr Gabriel Scally told The Observer newspaper.
"As a doctor I think it would be completely unethical to have any part in it"
It follows a Freedom of Information request by campaigners which showed LGPS funds in the South West had a reported £103.8m of investments in tobacco firms.
It is reported by The Observer that Cornwall pension fund has £24.5m, Devon County Council pension fund has £20.8m, Gloucestershire pension fund has £16.8m and Dorset County Council pension fund has £14.7m.
"The tobacco industry is destructive, dishonest and deceitful. We need to put them out of business, not invest our hard-earned money in them," Scally added.
However, one LGPS official, who asked not to be named, told PP the figures were inaccurate and the size of the investments were small compared with the overall portfolio, accounting for less than 1% of the assets in some cases.
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