Investors worth $3.5trn sign joint communiqué supporting tobacco control measures

World No Tobacco Day is organised by the World Health Organisation

Investors and health systems, including some of the world’s biggest pension funds, representing US $3.53trrn (€4trn) in assets under management, have signed a joint communiqué on World No Tobacco Day (May 31) to openly support tobacco control measures being taken by governments around the world.
Signatories to the communiqué, which has been co-ordinated by the PRI in association with a group of lead investors that have divested from tobacco including AXA, the global insurance giant, CalPERS, the US pension fund, SCOR, the French re-insurer and AMP Capital, the Australian investment group. Other investor signatories include FRR, the French pensions reserve fund, PFZW, the Dutch healthcare pensions giant, Achmea, the Dutch insurer, and KLP, the Norwegian pensions insurer.
Every year, on May 31st, the World Health Organization (WHO) marks World No Tobacco Day, highlighting the threat that tobacco use poses to the health and economic well-being of citizens of all countries, and advocating for effective policies to reduce tobacco consumption.This year, the WHO has chosen ‘Tobacco – a threat to development’ as its theme.
According to the WHO, tobacco is a primary driver of the dramatic rise in chronic non-communicable disease, killing 6 million people per year, a figure it says is expected to rise to 8 million by 2030, mostly in developing countries. In addition, smoking is estimated to cost the global economy more than $1 trillion a year, according to a 2017 joint study by the WHO and the U.S. National Cancer Institute, far outweighing global revenues from tobacco taxes.
In their statement, the investors note that tobacco-control measures are enshrined in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the landmark WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, an international treaty with 180 Parties (179 countries and the European Union), making it one of the most widely supported treaties in history.
The investors said they aimed to support the ambition of the WHO by backing the tobacco control measures already taken by governments around the world and encouraging them to continue their efforts.