Skip to content ↓
Press Room

Vital Strategies Commends Bloomberg Philanthropies on $420 Million Commitment To Reduce Global Tobacco Use

Statement from Jose Luis Castro, President and CEO, Vital Strategies:

Feb. 2, 2023 (New York)—“Bloomberg Philanthropies today announced an additional commitment of $420 million over four years to the Bloomberg Initiative to Reduce Tobacco Use. This fourth investment brings Bloomberg’s total commitment to more than $1.58 billion since 2005 and ushers in Vital Strategies’ 16th year of partnership with the Initiative.

Tobacco control works. Since 2007, global smoking rates have fallen from 22.7% to 17.5%. Global cigarette sales have also plummeted, with 750 billion fewer cigarettes sold in 2021 compared to 2012, and 57 countries have implemented smoke-free laws.

At Vital Strategies, we are thrilled that Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies and WHO Global Ambassador for Noncommunicable Diseases and Injuries, is committing to four more years of funding to reduce tobacco use globally. Bloomberg’s longtime public health leadership has contributed greatly to stronger tobacco policies and a decrease in the number of unnecessary, early deaths from tobacco use around the globe.

Since the Initiative’s inception, Vital Strategies has proudly supported Bloomberg Philanthropies’ efforts to reduce global tobacco use by working with governments to implement proven tobacco control strategies. We have supported 41 countries in delivering evidence-based population-level campaigns and building local capacity to highlight the dangers of tobacco. To date, our campaigns have been seen by more than 2 billion people and since 2019 we’ve contributed to 66 policy wins.

While global smoking rates are dropping, there’s much more work to do. Tobacco use remains a global epidemic, with 1.3 billion tobacco users in the world. Meanwhile, the tobacco industry continues to try and expand their reach and profits by targeting countries with weak regulatory environments and pushing novel products in previously untapped markets. We cannot let them.

The way forward is clear: the World Health Organization’s package of policies and initiatives, called MPOWER, which prioritizes bans on tobacco advertising, strengthening legislation, and countering industry opposition, has significant effect on countries where it’s implemented. We are steadfast in our commitment to expand these strategies globally.

Vital Strategies is honored to continue our partnership with Bloomberg Philanthropies to prevent tobacco-related illnesses and save lives.”

Read more about our tobacco control work.

About Vital Strategies

Vital Strategies believes every person should be protected by an equitable and effective public health system. We partner with governments, communities and organizations around the world to reimagine public health so that health is supported in all the places we live, work and play. The result is millions of people living longer, healthier lives. 

To learn more visit or follow us @VitalStrat.