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Bloomberg pledges $220 mill to fight tobacco use around the world

Michael Bloomberg

Michael Bloomberg Photo Credit: Getty

After years of trying to make New Yorkers quit smoking, Mayor Michael Bloomberg will spend $220 million to fight tobacco use globally.

Calling tobacco "a scourge all over the world" and accusing cigarette makers of "nefarious activities," Bloomberg told a news conference in Singapore that his foundation would focus on low-and moderate-income countries where nearly 80 percent of smokers live, like Russia, China, India, Indonesia and Bangladesh. The money would be used in part to fund legal challenges against the tobacco industry and to push governments to raise taxes on cigarettes.

During Bloomberg’s time in office, the city has banned smoking in restaurants, bars, parks and beaches.

Bloomberg announced the new funding for Bloomberg Philanthropies on Thursday at the 15th World Conference on Tobacco or Health. His foundation has already pledged more than $300 million to fight tobacco use.

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