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April 24, 1996

Mutual Fund Investors Advised to Sniff Out Tobacco

JAMA. 1996;275(16):1222. doi:10.1001/jama.1996.03530400010006

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PUT YOUR MONEY where your mouth is, those who talk rather than act are often advised. Now they're being told what amounts to "Don't put your money where your mouth isn't"—to wit, anywhere near a product that is made of tobacco.

Many people who fervently desire the demise of the tobacco trade unwittingly contribute to its continuation through their investment in securities that depend on its success. Scott Ballin of the Coalition on Smoking OR Health says, "Americans should be concerned that the biggest mutual funds in this country have tobacco stock among their top 10 holdings. Investing in tobacco companies is investing in what medical evidence tells us is further disease, death, and addiction in this nation. Any American who is concerned about making profits at the expense. of disease, death, and addiction should actively work to end this public health tragedy."

Co-op America, a Washington, DC-based nonprofit group