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New York Mayor Bloomberg donates $220 million to anti-smoking efforts worldwide

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Brendan McDermid/Reuters/File

(Read caption) The charitable foundation of New York City Mayor Bloomberg will give $220 million to support anti-smoking efforts around the world. The donation brings the total donations of the former smoker to anti-tobacco efforts to more than $600 million.

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New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, a former smoker turned anti-smoking activist, is contributing another $220-million to fight tobacco use worldwide.

The pledge brings Mr. Bloomberg’s total commitment to the anti-smoking cause to more than $600 million, according to Bloomberg Philanthropies. In 2006, he announced a plan to give $125 million over two years to a coalition of groups, including the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.

Two years later, he pledged another $250 million, while the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation joined him with a commitment of $125 million.

The new money will be spent over four years and will focus on low- and middle-income countries – where, the World Health Organization reports, nearly 80 percent of the world’s smokers live.

Mr. Bloomberg has taken a bold approach to fighting tobacco, pushing for efforts to raise taxes on cigarettes and even helping Uruguay mount a legal defense against Philip Morris International, which sued over the country’s anti-smoking laws.

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