Bloomberg Initiative Marks Milestone in Global Fight Against Tobacco

April 15, 2013

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Bloomberg Philanthropies announced today that the Bloomberg Initiative to Reduce Tobacco use has awarded 500 grants since 2007, totaling $100 million, to support efforts to reduce tobacco use in low- and middle-income countries.   It marks a significant milestone in fighting the world’s number one cause of preventable death, especially in countries that have the highest rates of tobacco use and are the tobacco industry’s biggest targets.

The initiative has provided grants to more than 70 countries with more than five billion people – almost 75 percent of the world’s population.  This commitment has helped implement proven strategies to reduce tobacco use and created an extensive and effective tobacco control movement in low- and middle-income countries.

Highlights of the initiative include:

  • 32 countries have successfully implemented national smoke-free legislation, protecting more than 1.3 billion people from secondhand smoke.
  • 24 countries have successfully implemented bans on tobacco advertising, protecting nearly 1 billion people.
  • 21 countries have successfully implemented pictorial health warning labels, warning more than 2.7 billion people about the dangers of tobacco use.
  • 12 countries have successfully increased tobacco taxes, a proven strategy to reduce tobacco use.
  • Altogether, 46 countries with more than 4.5 billion people have strengthened policies to reduce tobacco use with support from the grant program.

The grant program is a component of Bloomberg Philanthropies' overall commitment to reducing tobacco use.   The grant program is jointly managed by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids and the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease.