Tobacco Free Initiative (TFI)

WHO welcomes Bloomberg donation to global tobacco control

The World Health Organization (WHO) welcomes the announcement that Michael Bloomberg, Mayor of New York City, will contribute US$220 million to the Bloomberg Initiative for the global fight against tobacco. This money will go towards reducing the toll of tobacco in low- and middle-income countries, home to almost 80% of the world's smokers.

“This generous donation by Mayor Bloomberg is visible proof of the worldwide anti-tobacco movement’s shared determination to fight every effort by the tobacco industry to strengthen its grip in developing countries,” said Dr Margaret Chan, Director-General of WHO.

WHO is a partner in the Bloomberg Initiative, along with the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Foundation, the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and the World Lung Foundation/International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease. Since it was founded in 2006, the Bloomberg Initiative has supported work to implement tobacco control policies in at least 30 countries, covering 1.3 billion people and saving as many as 3.7 million lives. It has reinforced the work of leading nongovernmental organizations and governments, attracted major new philanthropic investments and media attention to the cause of tobacco control, and aligned stakeholder activities around effective interventions.

Tobacco use currently kills about six million people every year. If left unchecked, tobacco will kill one billion people in this century.