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Investing in the Tobacco Industry

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Bronwyn King's Talk on Tobacco Calls Attention to a Real Threat

— August 1, 2018 — Keynote Trends
Bronwyn King is an Australian radiation oncologist that advocates for health and conscious investment practices during her TED talk on tobacco. From the start of the keynote, the speaker establishes her position with regards to the industry in question, calling attention to a few chilling facts. Bronwyn King stresses that seven million people have died due to smoking in the last year and that at this rate, we are looking at one billion deaths at the end of the century. These are facts she returns to frequently during the delivery of her talk on tobacco to communicate the immediacy of the situation and issue a call for action.

King stipulates that people unknowingly invest in deadly companies by way of their superannuation fund. Further investigation into the matter revealed that "the entire global finance sector [was] completely tangled up with the tobacco industry." In a proactive manner, Bronwyn King addresses this problematic behavior and offers a three-point solution. During her talk on tobacco, the speaker suggests a framework for investors to ask themselves before helping a company thrive. Firstly, the uncertainty whether the product is safe needs to be addressed. The second question concerns itself with considering the potential problems the company can cause on the global level. Finally, investors have to ask themselves: would an engagement in the company contribute to a possibility to change for the better? When presented with these solutions, as well as the unethical nature of the tobacco industry's manufacturing processes — from child labor to externalization of health costs, finance leaders are keen to be more conscious of their investment choices.

As a result, due to Bronwyn King's relentless tobacco-free advocacy, strides have been made in Australia as the country now has 10,636,101 superannuation accounts that are not affiliated with the deadly industry.
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