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Michael Bloomberg Expands Campaign Against Big Tobacco

Michael Bloomberg Expands Campaign Against Big Tobacco


Michael Bloomberg Expands Campaign Against Big Tobacco
Former New York City mayor and media tycoon Michael Bloomberg has stepped up his campaign against "Big Tobacco," announcing that he's committed $20 million to form a new watchdog organization that will monitor tobacco companies' practices. Since 2007, Bloomberg has donated over a billion dollars to combat tobacco use, and the topic has been one of his pet issues since being the mayor of New York City.

"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," Bloomberg said in a statement. "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."

Like Bloomberg, the vaping industry has been anti-Big Tobacco for as long as vaping has been an industry. In the last few years, though, the tobacco giants have come out largely in agreement with vaping’s arguments against combustible cigarettes.

Big Tobacco

In addition to offering entry-level vapor products, tobacco companies have been developing their own non-combustible tobacco offerings, using a "heat-not-burn" technology that vaporizes cured tobacco instead of e-liquid. These products heat tobacco at a lower temperature than if you were smoking cigarettes, and claim that it cuts down on the dangers associated with combustible cigarettes.  

Philip Morris, the Big Tobacco company behind Marlboro, has been pushing for their latest iQOS (I-Quit-Ordinary-Cigarettes) systems which cut down on the combustible smoke. These iQOS systems are pending approval by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Far from being innovators in the industry, the heat-not-burn iQOS system pushed by Philip Morris have been entangled in legal trouble in the United States because the studies about their health and safety gave to the investors as they wait for approval. The company also pushed an initiative to “end smoking cigarettes” in the U.K., which has been thought of as a publicity stunt


The latest $20 million is a small drop in the bucket compared to prior donations made by the former mayor and multi-billionaire. In 2016, Bloomberg donated an eye-popping $360 million to anti-smoking causes.

Bloomberg, as Mayor of New York City, was known for his health pet projects and anti-smoking attitude. In 2003 he signed the New York City Smoke-Free Air Act banning smoking in bars and restaurants. By 2013, the Bloomberg Administration increased the tax on cigarettes, launched anti-smoking advertising campaigns, and distributed free nicotine patches.

Under his watch, however, Bloomberg also cracked down on vaping. The Smoke-Free Air act also included a ban on vaping indoors, raised taxes, and classified e-cigarettes as tobacco products even though they don’t contain tobacco.