Gates, Bloomberg launch $375M anti-smoking campaign


The $250 million from Bloomberg and $125 million from Gates will support projects that raise tobacco taxes, help smokers quit, ban tobacco advertising and protect nonsmokers from exposure to smoke. It will also aid efforts to track tobacco use and better understand tobacco control strategies.

Bloomberg, who built his fortune from the financial information company he founded in the 1980s, is adding $250 million to an anti-smoking initiative he funded with $125 million in 2006. That money goes toward tobacco-fighting campaigns in low- and middle-income countries, most specifically China, India, Indonesia, Russia and Bangladesh. Bloomberg Philanthropies is also conducting a survey to better understand smoking in those countries.

Bloomberg quit cigarettes about 30 years ago and has crusaded against smoking as a public official. In his first term he banned smoking in bars and restaurants and his health department has an aggressive, ongoing campaign to help New Yorkers kick the habit.