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Norwegian Government Applauded for Divesting Tobacco Stocks from Government Pension

Note: World Lung Foundation united with The Union North America. From January 2016, the combined organization is known as “Vital Strategies.”

(New York) – World Lung Foundation released today the following statement from Peter Baldini, Chief Executive Officer, following regarding the Norwegian government's decision to divest $2.1 billion in tobacco stocks from its pension fund portfolio.

“We applaud the Norwegian government for divesting its government pension fund of stocks that profit from tobacco.  By doing so, the Norwegian Ministry of Finance has drawn a clear ethical boundary between itself and an industry that has proven it is willing to compromise its customers' health for profit. 

The Norwegian government has also taken a leadership role by being among the first to comply with newly released World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) guidelines. These new provisions specify that governments should divest all holdings in tobacco companies in order to keep public health interests apart from economic influence.

World Lung Foundation urges the other 163 FCTC signatories to follow suit. Under no circumstances should government or its employees benefit from investments in companies that sell and market products that harm the public.”