An Embarrassing Matter of the AMA’s Investment in Tobacco Stocks

The Unfiltered Truth About Smoking and Health

In 1979, the AMA’s Resident Physician Section pointed out to the organization’s leadership that the association’s retirement fund owned $1.4 million in tobacco stocks. After the AMA House of Delegates’ vote in 1981 to retain its tobacco stocks led to public condemnation and ridicule of the AMA, the AMA quietly divested the stocks. However, in 1997 Physician’s Weekly pointed out that the AMA’s own employees’ 401(k) plan still invested in tobacco companies.

“The American Medical Association rid itself of $1.4 million in tobacco stocks today”

Transcript of NBC news story reported by Bob Roberts
September 29, 1981

“‘I do not recall your having devoted an entire program to a topic that has been…labeled “social investing.”’”

Mailgram from Alan Blum, MD, to Louis Rukeyser, host of the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) series Wall Street Week in Review, regarding the divestment of tobacco stocks by the AMA
September 30, 1981

“Cigaret Stock in AMA Pension Fund”

Editorial cartoon by Wayne Stayskal
Chicago Tribune
June 15, 1981

“AMA Keeps Its Tobacco Stocks”

News article with editorial cartoon by Sullivan
Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, Massachusetts)

“Stung by press criticism, AMA jettisons tobacco stock”

News article with editorial cartoon by Wayne Stayskal
Medical World News, page 16
October 26, 1981

“AMA on Tobacco Divestiture”

News article by Christina Kent about the presence of shares in tobacco companies in the 401(k) plan of AMA employees
Physician’s Weekly
March 24, 1997

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