Bloomberg, Gates Take On Smoking

Billionaires donate $375M to global anti-tobacco campaign
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 23, 2008 1:20 PM CDT
In this Jan. 28, 2008 file photo, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg speaks in Albany, N.Y. Speaking sometimes gets Bloomberg in trouble, as when he called in to his weekly radio show.   (AP Photo/Mike Groll, File)
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(Newser) – Microsoft founder Bill Gates and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg are pooling their piles of money and pouring $375 million into a global effort to cut smoking. The two philanthropists—who have a combined worth of more than $70 billion—say the new effort will target developing countries where tobacco use is highest.

$250 million from Bloomberg and $125 million from Gates will support projects that increase tobacco taxes, help smokers quit, and protect nonsmokers from exposure to smoke. It also will aid efforts to track tobacco use and better understand tobacco control strategies. Bloomberg began a worldwide anti-tobacco campaign in 2006, starting with $125 million.