Regional councils across the United Kingdom have broadly invested in the tobacco industry over the past years despite their commitments to improve health and welfare standards in their communities, according to a report.
The report published on the website of the Guardian newspaper on Monday revealed that healthcare providers, fire authorities and schools in Britain had directly invested more than £1.7 billion in tobacco company stocks through council pension funds.
The report said the retirement schemes had also pooled a further £1.1 billion into those industries via larger funds that group together the investors.
The main tobacco companies that received the investment were British American Tobacco, Imperial Brands and Philip Morris.
The West Yorkshire Pension Fund was the largest direct investor in tobacco among councils with £284 million held in major purveyors of cigarettes. The Guardian report said the huge investment came despite…