Bloomberg and Gates fund anti-tobacco fight

$4million fund established to help countries take on tobacco industry earning in billions

GN Bureau | March 19, 2015


#tobacco   #Bloomberg   #bill gates   #melinda   #cigarettes  

Smoking may cause 1 billion deaths this century while it claimed 10 million people in the last century.  In the backdrop of such ominous facts, a $4million fund to help governments fight legal battles against the tobacco industry has been announced by Bloomberg Philanthropies. The fund, to which the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is also contributing, seeks to assist countries which are making slow progress curbing smoking.  The US-based Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids will administer the fund.

There are concerns that the tobacco industry may resist new measures such as plain packaging. Australia and Uruguay are two of the countries where public health measures have been challenged by industry. The fund will give countries the technical support of legal experts to draw up legislation as well as defend court actions brought by tobacco companies. It is expected to grow as other donors join.

“We are at a critical moment in the global effort to reduce tobacco use, because the significant gains we have seen are at risk of being undermined by the tobacco industry’s use of trade agreements and litigation,” said Michael R Bloomberg. “We will stand with nations as they work to protect their populations against the deadly health effects of tobacco use.”

The tobacco industry's use of international trade agreements to threaten and prevent countries from passing tobacco control laws was unacceptable, Bloomberg said.

"This is not about trade," he said. "No one is a stronger supporter of capitalism and trade than I am. This is about sovereignty and whether a country has the right to set its own public health policies."

“Country leaders who are trying to protect their citizens from the harms of tobacco should not be deterred by threats of costly legal challenges from huge tobacco companies,” said Bill Gates. “Australia won its first case, which sends a strong message. But smaller, developing countries don’t have the same resources. That’s why we are supporting the Anti-Tobacco Trade Litigation Fund with Bloomberg Philanthropies.”

"Country leaders who are trying to protect their citizens from the harms of tobacco should not be deterred by threats of costly legal challenges from huge tobacco companies," he said.

The 16th World Conference on Tobacco or Health is currently on in Abu Dhabi.

A global report launched at the conference found there were 3.9 billion smokers aged 15 and over in WHO member states in 2010. By 2025, that number is predicted to grow to 5 billion if the present pace of tobacco control continues.

The tobacco industry has invoked trade agreements to counter anti-smoking measures – in Uruguay against graphic health warnings on packaging and in Australia against “plain” or unremarkable standardised packs.

According to the American Cancer Society and the World Lung Foundation's 2012 Tobacco Atlas, the combined profit of the world's six leading tobacco companies was $35.1 billion in 2010.

British American Tobacco, the world's second-largest cigarette maker, has said it will take action against Britain, which has a $29 billion tobacco industry.

Comments

 

Other News

NTPC adds highest ever capacity; records highest single day generation

  With commissioning of 800 MW unit at Kudgi in Karnataka, 250 MW unit at Bongaigaon in Assam and 20 MW at Bhadla solar in Rajasthan, the total installed capacity of National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) group has reached to 49,943 MW.   The 12th plan cap

Why do we need Aadhaar?

 Aadhaar is arguably one of the most convoluted public policy interventions in India’s history. It has been more than eight years, yet there is little clarity on the exact purpose of the biometric-based unique identification project.  Let me take you through an event which I witne

AAI signs MoU with Daman and Diu admin for maintenance of Diu airport

The airports authority of India (AAI), a Miniratna PSU, has undertaken operation, development and maintenance of Diu airport from Diu administration.    A memorandum of understanding demonstrating the responsibilities was inked on March 20 between the union terri

PSU performance: Better than expected

Central public sector enterprises (CPSEs) have done quite well despite facing headwinds, according to the Public Enterprises Survey (2015-16) that was tabled in parliament on March 21. The net worth of all the CPSEs have gone up and the overall net profit has zoomed. Their contribution to the cen

National Health Policy: Old prescription, new date

After much discussion and pondering over for more than two years, the cabinet has approved a new National Health Policy, scrapping the old one which was formulated in 2002. The government aims to increase the public health expenditure to 2.5% of the GDP by 2025. The policy formulated in 2002 aimed

It’s traumatic, says African student

  “We have requested more security from the government of India and the Uttar Pradesh government,” said Abdou Ibrahim, senior adviser, Association of African Students (AASI)  following an attack on four students from Africa in Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh. &n

Video

यूपी में नकल करने वालों की अब खैर नहीं

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter