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Anti-Smoking Fight Goes Global

After banning smoking in all workplaces in New York City in 2002, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg recently committed $125 million in private funds to form a global initiative to promote freedom from smoking. The Bloomberg School will be a partner in the initiative.

"I'm making a social investment. It's based on my experience that with better data, more focused public health interventions and heightened political advocacy, governments will enact policies that have huge health, social and economic benefits," said Bloomberg. "I hope this program will save millions of lives and save governments billions of dollars."

Jonathan Samet, Epidemiology chair, will lead the School's efforts in evaluating and optimizing interventions to monitor and control the tobacco epidemic in China and other countries. The Initiative will involve the School's Institute for Global Tobacco Control (which Samet directs), the Center for Communication Programs and the Department of Health, Behavior and Society. "This is an opportunity to expand the work we're doing worldwide, particularly in China, where over 330 million people smoke," said Samet.

The initiative will also work in India, Russia and elsewhere. The partners will create a global clearinghouse for anti-tobacco ads and support policies to limit smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke.

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