(Photo courtesy Shutterstock)

Newsom, Chiang implore CalPERS not to invest in tobacco industry

California Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom and State Treasurer John Chiang both released statements Tuesday urging CalPERS—California Public Employees’ Retirement System—to oppose investing in the tobacco industry during an important vote that will take place Dec. 19.

CalPERS’ pension fund serves more than 1.7 million members in the CalPERS retirement system, and also administers benefits for 1.4 million members and their families in its health program. It is the largest defined-benefit public pension in the U.S.

CalPERS ended direct investments in the tobacco industry in 2000 but still holds $547 million tobacco stocks indirectly through outside investment funds. On Monday CalPERS investment committee members will consider reinvesting in the tobacco industry.

“I continue to believe that investing in tobacco-related securities is a bad economic decision for CalPERS beneficiaries, for the state in general and for the world as a whole, whether we invest directly or through others,” Chiang wrote in a letter sent to Henry Jones, Chair of the CalPERS’ Investment Committee.

“Ploughing California taxpayers’ money back into Big Tobacco is about the most perverse course of action CalPERS can take,” said Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom. “Not only is this a predatory out-of-state industry whose child-baiting marketing tactics are disgraceful, but its product is responsible for more than $13 billion in annual healthcare costs. Taxpayers will be forced to pick up part of that tab, including CALPERS’ own retiree health benefits. We cannot sell our soul for profit. Investing in death for a return is inexcusable.”

According to the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids annual healthcare costs in California directly caused by smoking amount to $13.29 billion, of which $3.58 billion are Medi-Cal costs.

 

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

City could try to stop Lyft from dropping cash payments for bikeshare

A city supervisor hopes to force Lyft to keep accepting cash for… Continue reading

SF judge holds GOP House candidate Omar Navarro on stalking charges

Navarro is accused of his threatening ex-girlfriend: ‘I’m going to have antifa come after your family’

San Francisco community advocate to join District 5 supervisor’s race

Daniel Landry is the former president of the New Community Leadership Foundation

Vital link between two Muni train cars ‘failed’ while carrying passengers

A Muni train carrying passengers suffered a mechanical failure causing two rail cars to reportedly loosen and bump into each other

Most Read