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NZMA supports banning tobacco investments

FROM: Dr Don Simmers, Deputy Chairman NZMA

DATE: Friday, 20 October 2006

SUBJECT: NZMA supports banning tobacco investments

Government-owned entities in New Zealand have no business investing in the tobacco industry, says the New Zealand Medical Association.

The NZMA welcomes Labour MP Maryan Street’s Member’s Bill, Ethical Investment (Crown Financial Institutions) Bill, which would require the New Zealand Superannuation Fund, the Government Superannuation Fund and the Accident Compensation Corporation to take ethical criteria into account when investing their funds (although ACC no longer invests in tobacco).

“Smoking is a major cause of death and disease in our society, which costs our health system millions and millions of dollars,“ said NZMA Deputy Chair Dr Don Simmers.

The Government is actively working to reduce the harm caused by tobacco, and has been a world leader in many initiatives. Helping people quit smoking, and not allowing smoking in public buildings and workplaces, are major initiatives which support this approach. It is therefore inappropriate for Crown-owned entities to invest in tobacco.

“It is irresponsible for Crown-owned entities to invest, and attempt to profit, from an industry which brings so much sickness and misery,” Dr Simmers said.

“We call on all parties to support this Bill, and for it to be adopted as Government policy.”


ENDS

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