Archive

Archive for July, 2014

Suffolk: Council votes to disinvest pension funds from tobacco companies – Politics – OLD – East Anglian Daily Times

Suffolk: Council votes to disinvest pension funds from tobacco companies – Politics – OLD – East Anglian Daily Times.

This looks like it might be the first local government pension fund to publicly divest from tobacco shares held directly by the fund,as opposed to those only operating pooled funds.  The Council has given a strong lead to the pension committee, and the quotes suggest that committee is likely to agree to divest.  It is not a foregone conclusion, but if it happens this will be a highly significant development.

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Chain smoker’s widow awarded $23bn in punitive damages in Florida | Business | theguardian.com

Chain smoker’s widow awarded $23bn in punitive damages in Florida | Business | theguardian.com.

While it seems likely the punitive damages awarded in this case will be successfully appealed, it remains to be seen what level of damages will remain once the appeals processes are completed.  The jury evidently found that the company knew what it was doing.  According to one of the lawyers involved the infamous footage of 7 Chief Executive Officers lying to Congress about the addictive effects of nicotine had a big impact on the jury.

See the footage here.

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EHN Online | Resignation over pension tobacco investment

EHN Online | Resignation over pension tobacco investment.

More on the Kent Public Health Consultant’s resignation.

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BBC News – Kent health expert resigns over tobacco comments

BBC News – Kent health expert resigns over tobacco comments.

Dr Marion Gibbon of Kent County Council Public Health Department has resigned over the issue of being able to speak out about the Council investing in tobacco companies through its pension fund.  Dr Gibbon was disciplined after giving an unauthorised interview to the BBC last year.

Remarkably KCC’s deputy leader is quoted stating that tobacco companies are reputable.  Perhaps he should have a word with George Osborne MP, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, but who as a backbencher famously accused Imperial Tobacco chiefs of being either stupid or crooks, and they didn’t look stupid!

 

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Croydon quits tobacco

Croydon quits tobacco.

Croydon Council has decided to switch to an ethical fund excluding tobacco investments.

Councillor John Wentworth, chair of the pensions committee, said investing in tobacco was at odds with the council’s responsibility for public health.

He added: “Having a pension fund that invests in tobacco was very much at odds with our responsibility to protect and improve public health in this borough, and there were clearly a number of concerns about the ethics of doing that.

“Ensuring that the council is a socially responsible investor was a key manifesto pledge for the administration.”

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Tayside Pension Fund chiefs told to abandon tobacco investments as soon as possible – Dundee / Local / News / The Courier

Tayside Pension Fund chiefs told to abandon tobacco investments as soon as possible – Dundee / Local / News / The Courier.

 

In an encouraging move Tayside Pension Fund has instructed managers to divest from the tobacco industry investments once they can find suitable replacements.

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