The World Health Organization has estimated that tobacco will kill up to a billion people this century. You read that correctly, that’s one sixth of the world’s population gone, thanks to the effects of smoking and other forms of tobacco use.
Bill Gates and Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg have announced that they, together, will spend $500 million to stop people from smoking. Mr. Bloomberg’s foundation has commited $375 million to the cause, adding $250 million over four years on top of the $125 million he had announced two years ago. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will allocate $125 million to the cause over five years.
The “Mpower” campaign will concentrate on five countries where most of the world’s smokers live, urging their governments to raise tobacco taxes, outlaw smoking in public places, and more. The five countries are: China, India, Indonesia, Russia and Bangladesh.
The amount being spent is 25 times the current spending of about $20 million a year.
Read more about this amazing campaign at the New York Times.