(November 29th, 2017, New York, USA) – Vital Strategies today applauded BNP Paribas on its decision to cease financing and investing in the activities of the tobacco industry. The decision represents a major step for the health community as BNP Paribas joins other leading global financial services organizations in distancing itself from the industry.
The bank, which is headquartered in France and has a presence in 74 countries, has announced that it will cease tobacco industry-related financing and investment activities – including those related to manufacturers, producers, wholesalers and traders, whose revenue is derived mainly from tobacco.
José Luis Castro, President and Chief Executive Officer, Vital Strategies said: “Tobacco is responsible for the deaths of more than seven million people every year as well as human disease, disability and environmental damage. BNP Paribas’ decision to distance itself from the tobacco industry sends a clear and strong message to the financial and business community about the industry’s complicity in furthering tobacco’s unsustainable health and economic burden worldwide. We are encouraged by their decision and urge other financial and business leaders to follow suit, given the devastating health, social, environmental and economic consequences of tobacco use and exposure.
“Vital Strategies recognizes the leadership of Dr. Bronwyn King and Tobacco Free Portfolios in seeking to begin to disarm the financial power of the tobacco industry. We urge more organizations to follow the example of BNP Paribas, AXA Group and others in showing governments that the financial sector supports sustainable development that does not ignore the economic harms, disease and millions of premature deaths caused by a deadly product.”
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About Vital Strategies
Vital Strategies is a global health organization that believes every person should be protected by a strong public health system. Our team combines evidence-based strategies with innovation to help develop and implement sound public health policies, manage programs efficiently, strengthen data systems, conduct research, and design strategic communication campaigns for policy and behavior change. To find out more, please visit www.vitalstrategies.org or Twitter @VitalStrat.
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