Marin pension trustees urged to drop tobacco great investment

The head of the tobacco disease control program called Marin County pension trustees to gain from the cigarette business, calling the issue a matter of life or death, which costs the county millions of dollars.

“I know what you’re trying to make money, but we have to talk about the costs now associated with tobacco,” said Bob Kerrey, tobacco program coordinator in the county Department of Health and Human Services.

County pension fund has a $ 7.5 million investment in tobacco Imperial Group, a British company, which ranks as the fourth largest cigarette company in the world and the largest producer of cigars, fine-cut tobacco and tobacco rolling papers. Shares of the company, working at 51 plants around the world, which produces more than 320 million cigarettes a year, has quadrupled in the last ten years.

Curry called it a poor investment that is worth a lot.

He said that aside from the start of illness and death, the state of research indicates capita tobacco consumption and health related costs inMarinCountytotal $ 62 million, “every year.”

“We will invest in the industry, which costs us a huge amount of money is not a wise thing to do,” he said. “We do not want money going to an industry that kills.”

Curry added that tobacco activists plan a concerted campaign to get the pension trustees to lose investment, but he did not elaborate. Joan Brown, a former head of the Center for Citizen Volunteers

The program, called trustees a few months ago to quit.

Trustees made no comment on the matter after the Currie said at the opening on Wednesday.

Trustees authorize investments in hundreds of companies involved in numerous businesses, including tobacco, alcohol, and nuclear weapons industry. Pension officials say that their job is reasonable to create a healthy investment returns, rather than a healthy planet - a philosophy that contrasts with theCivicCenterin the “Healthy Communities” goal.

Pension fund investment committee lists as the “principal purpose” of asset diversification “in a way to minimize the risk of loss and to maximize the rate of return, in line with the overall objective to promote the interests of the Council for the Marin County Employees Retirement Association, its members and their beneficiaries. ‘

As of July 1, Imperial Tobacco Group ranks ninth in the list of the top 10 fund Marin pension investments.

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