Letters Investment in tobacco companies

What hope is there for ethical investment?

BMJ 2012; 345 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.e8549 (Published 21 December 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;345:e8549
  1. Peter Sidebotham, paediatrician1
  1. 1Warwick Medical School, University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL, UK
  1. p.sidebotham{at}warwick.ac.uk

Local authorities are not the only guardians of public health who invest in tobacco companies.1 I recently sought advice from Wesleyan, a company that specialises in financial advice for doctors, dentists, and other professionals. I was advised to invest in the Wesleyan life managed fund. On further inquiry I discovered that British American Tobacco was among the top 10 holdings for this fund.2 Wesleyan claims to have a commitment to social responsibility and states on its website that “it is inherent in our business model that we have responsible policies for our staff, customers and the community.” If investing in tobacco counts as a responsible policy in a company specifically catering for doctors, what hope is there for any ethical investment?


Cite this as: BMJ 2012;345:e8549


  • Competing interests: PS has invested money in ethical funds through Wesleyan.