Rapid responses are electronic comments to the editor. They enable our users
to debate issues raised in articles published on bmj.com. A rapid response
is first posted online. If you need the URL (web address) of an individual
response, simply click on the response headline and copy the URL from the
browser window. A proportion of responses will, after editing, be published
online and in the print journal as letters, which are indexed in PubMed.
Rapid responses are not indexed in PubMed and they are not journal articles.
The BMJ reserves the right to remove responses which are being
wilfully misrepresented as published articles or when it is brought to our
attention that a response spreads misinformation.
From March 2022, the word limit for rapid responses will be 600 words not
including references and author details. We will no longer post responses
that exceed this limit.
The word limit for letters selected from posted responses remains 300 words.
This paper is a brilliantly written commentary on the activities of
British American Tobacco (BAT), and, indirectly, Schoders, the investment
bank. Almost all of us who have savings for retirement or other long term
needs will be invested in these companies through collective investment
vehicles such as pension funds or Individual savings Accounts (ISAs).
Equally, if we are paid by the NHS, our pay will come in part from monies
collected as taxation from the company profits of companies like Schroders
and BAT. So none of us is exempt from our share of the collective guilt to
be associated with the investment policies described in this paper.
Hold savings in investment trusts which in turn have in the past or still do invest in BAT amongst other international companies. I have worked as a consultant in a primary care development project in Uzbekistan.
No competing interests
15 February 2006
Jonathan H Burton
Editor, Work Based Learning in Primary Care
London Deanery , Stewart House, 32 Russell Square, London WC1B 5DN