Taking head-on cigarette giants that are aggressively targeting the developing countries, billionaires Bill Gates and Michael Bloomberg have jointly pledged $500 million for a massive anti-smoking campaign with special focus on India and China.
A world without tobacco “is a world in which people live longer and have happier lives,” Bloomberg, New York Mayor who has a fortune of $16 billion, said at a joint press conference with the Microsoft founder Gates.
They said the money would go to anti-smoking groups working with governments to curb the consumption of tobacco and related products, including World Health Organisation and Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. The global tobacco market is expected to rise to $464 billion by 2012. Two most populous countries India and China need special attention, Gates said.