$500 million provided to fight tobacco use around the world.

July 24, 2008 - New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Microsoft founder Bill Gates said yesterday that they will together provide $500 million to fight tobacco use around the world, especially in developing countries where smoking rates are rising.

Bloomberg has already given $125 million to the cause and will provide $250 million more. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation said it will spend $125 million over five years, including a $24 million grant to the Initiative to Reduce Tobacco Use that Bloomberg created in 2005. The funds will be used to promote tobacco control programs, including media and educational campaigns, as well as programs to help people quit smoking and efforts to promote higher taxes on tobacco products.

Both British American Tobacco (BAT - #2 on the world scene and Philip Morris International #1 do not oppose the funding but mentioned harm reduction goals - this funding should be for the elimination of all tobacco products what ever the disguise. Nicotine addiction is as strong or even stronger than heroin or cocaine addiction. Do we want our children to be nicotine addicts never capable of reaching their full potential??

Reference: $500 Million Is Offered in Fight Against Tobacco, washingtonpost.com, 7/24/2008 and Gates, Bloomberg Pledge $500 Million for Antismoking Programs by Robert A. Guth (also Betsy McKay), The Wall Street Journal, 7/24/2008.