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Finance leaders today came together with world leaders from government and health for the first time to pledge commitment to tobacco-free finance policies across lending, insurance and investment. The Tobacco-Free Finance Pledge – of which The Union is a founding signatory – was launched at a side event of the UN General Assembly, and included more than 120 founding signatories and supporters. Finance has long been a missing piece of tobacco control with financing of the industry through lending, insurance and investment being treated as business as usual. The Pledge ensures that tobacco-free finance is now on the agendas of financial institutions boards around the world, and aims to denormalise tobacco as a part of standard investment practices. Organisations who have signed up to the pledge represent trillions of dollars of capital, including assets under management of over USD 6.4 trillion, corporate loan books of over USD 1.8 trillion and insurance premiums of over USD 179 billion. Dr. Bronwyn King, Radiation Oncologist and CEO of Tobacco Free Portfolios who initiated the pledge, said: “I am delighted that Tobacco Free Portfolios has founded The Tobacco-Free Finance Pledge in partnership with global leaders. This initiative exemplifies the action required to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, and brings us closer to a tobacco-free world.” Tobacco kills more than seven million people each year and according to the World Health Organization, tobacco consumption is the single largest preventable cause of death.

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The Tobacco Control Department is based at The Union Europe Office, Edinburgh, registered charity no. SC039880
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