Seems the anti-smoker brigade has some help:
Quit it, billionaires encourage smokers
By SARA KUGLER
Microsoft founder Bill Gates and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg are pooling their piles of money to pour $375 million into a global effort to cut smoking.
The billionaire philanthropists, who have a combined worth of more than $70 billion, said Wednesday that the money will help efforts in developing countries where tobacco use is highest. There are more than one billion smokers worldwide.
The $250 million from Bloomberg and $125 million from Gates will support projects that raise tobacco taxes, help smokers quit, ban tobacco advertising and protect nonsmokers from exposure to smoke.
It will also aid efforts to track tobacco use and better understand tobacco control strategies.
''Together we can make a clear, measurable difference -- not just for ourselves and our generation but for the generations that come after us,'' Bloomberg said.
...That money goes toward tobacco-fighting campaigns in low- and middle-income countries, most specifically China, India, Indonesia, Russia and Bangladesh. Bloomberg Philanthropies is also conducting a survey to better understand smoking in those countries.
The Gates Foundation has until now focused most of its world health dollars on fighting malaria, AIDS and other diseases.
The anti-tobacco campaign represents a new direction for the Seattle-based organization, which since 2006 has also been charged with giving away billions from investor Warren Buffett.