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Quit and Cancer Council Victoria applaud health fund’s decision on tobacco-related investments

Thursday 19 July, 2012

Quit Victoria and Cancer Council Victoria have applauded First State Super for its decision to remove all tobacco-related companies from its investment portfolio.

The decision comes after a strong advocacy campaign driven by cancer specialists at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, who see the devastating consequences from tobacco use first-hand.

Quit Executive Director Fiona Sharkie encouraged more superannuation funds to follow suit. "We'd like to see Australian superannuation funds think more carefully about shareholdings in the tobacco industry because research has shown this is what members expect,” she said. “Many investors don’t want to be inadvertent or unwilling shareholders in Big Tobacco.”

Cancer Council Chief Executive Todd Harper said any financial gain to the tobacco industry represented more deaths and ill-health to the Australian community.

“The tobacco industry is directly responsible for more than 15,000 Australian deaths per year and First State Super’s historic decision reflects an important step forward in social responsibility in super funds,” he said.