Merton council has invested more than £5m in tobacco companies while spending money to discourage people from smoking a Freedom of Information request has revealed. 

The Wimbledon Guardian report:

Merton Council is spending £163,000 this year on NHS Stop Smoking Services while holding investments worth more than £5m in tobacco companies.

A Freedom of Information request revealed £5,584,843 was invested in the British American Tobacco Company, makers of Lucky Strike and Benson and Hedges cigarettes, and £2,296,518 in Imperial Tobacco, who make Lambert and Butler cigarettes as of December 30 last year are part of the council’s pension investment fund.

The council has stated the overall figure invested in tobacco since that date is now £5,018,763.

You can read the full story here. 

I am a journalist and author. I am a journalist at the UK edition of WIRED magazine. In 2015, my first book Freedom of Information: A Practical Guide for UK Journalists, was published. My second book Reed Hastings: Building Netflix, was published in March 2020. I created FOI Directory in 2012 and have maintained it in my spare time ever since.