Michael Bloomberg, Bill Gates Launch Anti-Tobacco Legal Fund

RICHMOND, Va. — Michael Bloomberg and Bill Gates are launching a fund to help low- and middle-income countries fight often long and expensive legal battles with the tobacco industry.

The newly created Anti-Tobacco Trade Litigation Fund was announced Wednesday at the World Conference on Tobacco or Health in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

It’s backed by $4 million from Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The fund complements the $600 million that Bloomberg Philanthropies has committed to combat tobacco use since 2007. It has helped countries implement policies such as increasing taxes, creating smoke-free public places and banning advertising.

According to the World Health Organization, tobacco use kills more than 5 million people annually and nearly 80 percent of the world’s 1 billion smokers live in low- and middle-income countries.

Allison Leslie is a University of South Florida graduate with a bachelors degree in Mass Communications. She joined Genesis in 2016. With a passion for sports, Allison has interned with 620 WDAE, Pewter Report, Trifecta Team: St. Petersburg Bowl, Bullscast, and many other publications. Being a native to the Bay Area, she has followed and supported Tampa Bay teams her whole life.