Tobacco Free Initiative (TFI)

New tobacco control investment supports MPOWER roll-out

5 December 2016 –- WHO welcomes today's announcement from Bloomberg Philanthropies on a new commitment of $360 million for the global fight against tobacco. Since 2006 WHO has been a core partner in what remains a unique effort by Bloomberg Philanthropies to reduce deaths and disability related to tobacco use by promoting tobacco policy control in key areas. WHO works with Bloomberg, governments and international partners to introduce and enforce laws, policy and surveillance around tobacco control. To date, the combined work has successfully supported policy work in 59 countries, reaching nearly 3.5 billion people and saving an estimated 30 million lives.

Bloomberg Initiative to reduce tobacco

WHO /Sergey Volkov
A sign "no smoking" on the restaurant's window, Moscow, Russia

The Bloomberg Initiative to reduce tobacco use was launched in 2006. Funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies, the initiative seeks to strengthen tobacco control efforts to reduce the toll of tobacco in low- and middle-income countries, by implementing proven tobacco control policies, such as creating smoke-free public places, banning tobacco advertising, increasing taxes on tobacco products, and raising public awareness about the dangers associated to tobacco use. Jointly with its partners in the initiative, WHO works with countries for the implementation of the best buy and good buy measures to reduce tobacco use. Known as MPOWER, this package of six measures was launched by the WHO in 2008 to support scale up of specific provisions of the WHO FCTC on the ground. Supported by partners at all levels and rigorously tracked, MPOWER helps countries design and carry out policy, particularly in developing countries where the tobacco industry actively seeks new markets.

The MPOWER measures

The WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) and its guidelines provide the foundation for countries to implement and manage tobacco control. To help make this a reality, WHO introduced the MPOWER measures. These measures are intended to assist in the country-level implementation of effective interventions to reduce the demand for tobacco, contained in the WHO FCTC.

It is time for a national smoke-free law in China: new WHO report

BEIJING, 19 October 2015 – A strong, comprehensive, national smoke-free law would protect all of China’s 1.34 billion citizens from the harms of second-hand tobacco smoke, and would be immensely popular with the public, including smokers, according to a new report launched today

A call for higher taxes on tobacco

World No Tobacco Day 2014

2 October 2015 -- Dr Margaret Chan, Director-General of WHO, and Michael Bloomberg, former Mayor of New York City, argue today in the Washington Post that tobacco taxes need to be taken seriously as a development measure in the post-2015 agenda. The Global Goals for Sustainable Development, recently adopted by world leaders at the United Nations in New York, set out the key objectives for the world to achieve by 2030 to be more equitable, prosperous and sustainable. Tobacco taxation provides governments with a unique opportunity to protect the lives of their citizens, whilst raising much needed funds to finance these goals. It's a low-cost, win-win solution for a healthier, and wealthier, global future.

Work of WHO with countries as part of the Bloomberg Initiative

The Bloomberg Initiative to reduce tobacco use is funding activities to promote freedom from smoking and reduce tobacco use in low- and middle-income countries, with special emphasis in Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Russian Federation but also in other high-burden countries such as Brazil, Egypt, Mexico, Pakistan, Philippines, Poland, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, Vietnam.

Use the following quick link to jump directly to a specific country page.

Dr S Mahfuzul Huq/WHO Bangladesh

The Bloomberg Initiative – coordinated by the five key partner organizations focuses in four components.

WHO China

The grants program supports the development and delivery of high-impact tobacco control interventions at country level.

WHO India

Questions and answers about the grants program.

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