Economic Social Criteria Investment Screens
Tobacco Social Criteria Screen
Approved by the ELCA Church Council – April 21-23, 1990
Updated by the Advisory Committee on Corporate Social Responsibility – September 8, 2006
Approved by the ELCA Church Council – November 2007
Approved by the ELCA Church Council - November 12, 2012
Authority: The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) has laid out its concern for health in a social statement “Caring for Health: Our Shared Endeavor” , acknowledging that health is central to our wellbeing, and caring for it is a matter of shared stewardship. Predecessor church body statements speak specifically to the role of nicotine and tobacco products as some of the most widely used and misused potentially dangerous drugs (Chemical Comforters and Drug Dependency [ALC, 1972]).
Wording of the Screen: The ELCA recommends no investment in firms involved in the production or marketing of tobacco.
Definition of Problem: Tobacco is a product that even when used in moderation is addictive and harmful. As early as 1964 the U.S. Surgeon General reported on its dangers . The American Cancer Society has stated that non-smokers exposed to second-hand smoke absorb nicotine and other components just as smokers do. In addition certain marketing practices, such as those aimed toward children, are particularly objectionable.
Recognizing that various investors will implement this along a continuum, for the purpose of this screen tobacco production and marketing might include: tobacco, cigars, chewing tobacco or smokeless tobacco as well as companies supplying key component elements to the tobacco industry (cigarette papers, flavorings, adhesives) or the sale and marketing of tobacco related products.
Social policy and studies:
Caring for Health: Our Shared Endeavor [ELCA, 2003]
Health, Life, and Death: A Christian Perspective [ALC, 1977]
Chemical Comforters and Drug Dependency [ALC, 1972]