France's biggest insurance group AXA said Monday it was pulling out of the tobacco industry, divesting about 1.8 billion euros ($2.0 billion) of assets in the sector as part of the fight against smoking.
"With this divestment from tobacco, we are doing our share to support the efforts of governments around the world," Thomas Buberl, Axa's deputy chief executive, said in a statement. "This decision has a cost for us, but the case for divestment is clear: the human cost of tobacco is tragic; its economic cost is huge."
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