Michael Bloomberg and Bill Gates Create Legal Fund to Fight Tobacco Industry

Michael Bloomberg, Bill Gates Create Legal Fund to Fight Tobacco Industry

Billionaire philanthropists Michael Bloomberg and Bill Gates on Wednesday launched a new $4 million fund to help the developing countries fight off legal challenges from tobacco companies, during a conference in Abu Dhabi .

The Anti-Tobacco Trade Litigation Fund will support the governments that pass strict anti-smoking laws, defend against international trade suits and increase public awareness of legal threats from the tobacco industry.

On the 2015 FORBES World's Billionaires List, Bloomberg and Gates are among the richest people on the planet. Gates is present on the top spot, with a net worth of $79.2 billion, and Bloomberg with $35.5 billion ranks 14th.

In a statement, Bloomberg said they have full support for the nations that are out in efforts to protect their populations against the deadly health effects of tobacco use.

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates said, "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".

According to the World Health Organization, although the smoker numbers have declined in many parts of the world, the upward trends in African and Mediterranean countries mean the global total will not show much change in the next 10 years.

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