Chris Feudtner Faults Penn's Tobacco Investments

Chris Feudtner Faults Penn's Tobacco Investments

In an article in Inside Higher Ed, LDI Senior Fellow Chris Feudtner discusses the petition signed by him and 534 other senior faculty members urging the University of Pennsylvania to drop its tobacco-related investments.

The article notes the move comes 25 years after Harvard pulled out of tobacco-related investments.
Chris Feudtner
Chris Feudtner, MD, PhD, MPH

"Just because we're late doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do it," Feudtner told the magazine. The Director of the Department of Medical Ethics at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), Feudtner, MD, PhD, MPH, is also an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Penn's Perelman School of Medicine.

The article said the University declined to say how much of its $7.7 billion endowment was tied up in tobacco. Ironically, Penn has declared 2014 the "Year of Health" and its health system recently banned the hiring of individuals who smoke.

In their petition, the professors said it was wrong for the university "to benefit financially from the manufacture and sale of tobacco," given that tobacco use was linked to millions of deaths a year.

"I see an industry with targeted efforts on children and targeted marketing on poor individuals, domestically and overseas," Feudtner told the magazine. "I've seen an industry systematically gone around to make the product more addictive, all while data is incontrovertible."