Bloomberg Initiative Awarded 500 Grants to Reduce Tobacco Use

By Bloomberg Philanthropies - APR. 15, 2013

Bloomberg Philanthropies today announced that the Bloomberg Initiative to Reduce Tobacco Use Grants Program has awarded 500 grants since 2007. The Bloomberg Initiative Grants Program was designed to provide direct funding to governments and non-government organizations located in low- and middle-income countries to support development and implementation of evidence-based tobacco control activities. Since inception, the program has distributed $100 million in grants to more than 70 countries. More than 5 billion people—almost 75 percent of the world's population—live in a country that has received a grant.

The majority of Bloomberg Initiative to Reduce Tobacco Use grants are through a bi-annual competitive process. An innovative component of the program is the provision of selected "rapid response" grants to address urgent country-specific tobacco control needs. The program, jointly managed by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids and the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, provides consistent monitoring and technical assistance to grantees over the duration of each grant.

Other highlights of the program include:

  • About one-third of the funding has been provided directly to governments in low- and middle-income countries, to support them in strengthening their tobacco control programs.
  • The other two-thirds of funding has been provided to non-profit organizations that encourage government action or aid governments in implementing laws well.
  • The "rapid response" mechanism of the grants program has provided small, urgently needed funding in 27 countries. These grants average only $38,000 and are provided very quickly.
  • Grants have supported countries as they have made critical tobacco control progress.
    • 32 countries successfully supported to implement national smoke-free legislation, providing protection from second-hand smoke to over 1.3 billion people.
    • 24 countries successfully supported to implement legislative bans on tobacco advertising, protecting nearly 1 billion people from tobacco advertising.
    • 31 countries successfully supported to implement pictorial health warnings to warn about the dangers of tobacco use to over 2.7 billion people.
    • 12 countries successfully supported to increase tobacco taxes.
    • In total, 46 countries representing over 4.5 billion people have made critical legislative improvements supported by the grants program.

The Bloomberg Initiative to Reduce Tobacco Use aims to cut global demand for tobacco by supporting the World Health Organization's MPOWER policies which include: Monitoring tobacco use and prevention policies; Protecting people from tobacco smoke; Offering help to quit tobacco use; Warning about the dangers of tobacco, Enforcing bans on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship; and Raising taxes on tobacco.

Bloomberg Philanthropies has committed $600 million since 2007 to combat tobacco use worldwide. The $100 million re-granting program is a component of Bloomberg Philanthropies' overall commitment to tobacco control and the program will continue through 2016. More than one billion people are now protected with smoke-free legislation and other effective tobacco control policies since the initiative began.

About Bloomberg Philanthropies

Bloomberg Philanthropies is on a mission to improve and lengthen lives. We focus on five key areas to create lasting change: Public Health, Environment, Education, Government Innovation and Arts & Culture. Bloomberg Philanthropies encompasses all of Michael R. Bloomberg's charitable activities, including his foundation and his personal giving. In 2012, $370 million was distributed. For more information, please visit www.bloomberg.org.

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