Trustees of the $50 billion New York State Teachers' Retirement System, Albany, might change their tobacco policy, possibly resulting in a reduction in the fund's exposure to the tobacco sector, George H. Philip, executive director, said.
``It won't be no tobacco, but we could short-weight the sector,'' Mr. Philip said. The board meets April 25. If the board does decide to adopt such a policy, it will be based purely on economics - the increased riskiness of holding tobacco stocks because of potential litigation, and a tighter federal policy on the sale of tobacco, not social issues, Mr. Philip said.
The fund's existing tobacco policy discourages companies from marketing their products to teen-agers, and encourages spinoffs, he said. The fund holds about 933,000 shares of RJR Nabisco and about 3 million shares of Philip Morris, all in indexed portfolios