The director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) resigned after reports that she bought shares of a tobacco company after assuming the post. 

A statement issued by US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) spokesman Matt Lloyd said on Wednesday that Brenda Fitzgerald's resignation had been accepted by Alex Azar, who was sworn in as the new HHS secretary on Monday. 

"Dr. Fitzgerald owns certain complex financial interests that have imposed a broad recusal limiting her ability to complete all of her duties as the CDC Director," the statement said. 

"Due to the nature of these financial interests, Dr. Fitzgerald could not divest from them in a definitive time period," it said. 

The CDC acts as the country's leading anti-smoking agency, apart from other public health works. 

Fitzgerald had been in the position since July last year.

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