Billionaires Spending $500 Million To Kill Tobacco Industry

Bill Gates and Michael Bloomberg have had it with cigarettes killing millions of people a year, so they’re attacking Philip Morris (PM), Altria (MO), et al, with $500 million of ammo. NYT:

The World Health organisation estimates that tobacco will kill up to a billion people in the 21st century, most of them in poor and middle-income countries. In an effort to cut that number, Mr. Bloomberg’s foundation plans to commit $250 million over four years on top of $125 million he announced two years ago. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is allocating $125 million over five years…

The $500 million would be spent on a multipronged campaign — nicknamed Mpower — that Mr. Bloomberg and Dr. Margaret Chan, director of the health organisation, outlined in February. It coordinates efforts by the Bloomberg Initiative to Reduce Tobacco Use, the health organisation, the World Lung Foundation, the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, the centres for Disease Control and Prevention Foundation and the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.

The campaign will urge governments to sharply raise tobacco taxes, outlaw smoking in public places, outlaw advertising to children and free giveaways of cigarettes, start antismoking advertising campaigns and offer their citizens nicotine patches or other help quitting…

The campaign will concentrate on five countries where most of the world’s smokers live: China, India, Indonesia, Russia and Bangladesh.

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