Michael Bloomberg Fights Big Tobacco in Uruguay

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Michael Bloomberg is a man on a mission. This, of course, isn’t the first “noble cause” he’s latched on to but the “evil” of tobacco is something he feels particularly strongly about.

In co-operation with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Mr Bloomberg has just launched a multi-million dollar fund to help smaller countries fight legal battles with tobacco companies, among them the small South American country of Uruguay.

Uruguay has considerably fewer smokers than Michael Bloomberg’s usual backyard of New York but this country of just three million people has become an unlikely battleground between anti-smoking campaigners and big tobacco. Its government is embroiled in a long running and expensive legal battle with the cigarette industry over its anti-smoking laws.

And the former Democrat, come Republican, come Independent once touted as a potential presidential nominee has stepped into fray.

“We are in this to help countries that can’t afford to defend themselves against an industry which will try to kill a billion people this century,” Bloomberg tells me, pulling no punches in his New York headquarters.

“If that isn’t a noble cause I don’t know what is. You can talk about saving society but you have to translate that into action.”

Source: BBC (link opens in a new window)

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