New watchdog

| March 7, 2018

Bloomberg Philanthropies will provide $20 million to launch Stopping Tobacco Organizations and Products (STOP), a new global watchdog that will aggressively monitor “deceptive tobacco industry tactics and practices to undermine public health.”

According to a press release issued by Bloomberg Philanthropies, STOP will deliver regular reports detailing tactics and strategies and will provide tools and training materials for countries to combat the tobacco industry’s influence.

Findings will be publicly available and aligned with Article 5.3 of the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, which prohibits tobacco industry involvement in government policy making.

Bloomberg Philanthropies said tobacco giants have tried to deceive the public with duplicitous tactics for decades. It cited as an example Philip Morris International’s recent donation of $80 million to the Foundation for a Smoke-Free World, a move seen by many public health experts as a veiled effort to legitimize the tobacco industry and allow it access to the policy-making table.

Bloomberg Philanthropies also chided the industry for marketing its combustible cigarettes to children and teenagers in low- and middle-income countries, and pushing alternative products, such as heat-not-burn and e-cigarettes, as cessation devices while the evidence remains inconclusive.

“Over the last decade tobacco control measures have saved nearly 35 million lives, but as more cities and countries take action, the tobacco industry is pushing to find new users, particularly among young people,” said Michael R. Bloomberg, WHO Global Ambassador for Noncommunicable Diseases and Bloomberg Philanthropies Founder.

“We cannot stand by as the industry misleads the public in an effort to get more people hooked on its products—and this global watchdog will help us hold the industry accountable.”

“STOP is a warning call to Big Tobacco that they are on notice,” said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. “The World Health Organization and our partners will not accept efforts to undermine the huge successes in tobacco control that we have achieved over the past few decades. There is no going back.”


Category: Breaking News

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