Corporate Accountability Internationa: Tobacco Control Gets Big Boost

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 24, 2008
9:48 AM

CONTACT: Corporate Accountability International
Sara Joseph, 617-447-2527
Nick Guroff, 617-447-2505

 
Tobacco Control Gets Big Boost
 
BOSTON - July 24 - Today, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced a combined investment of $500 million to help governments in low-income countries implement and enforce major tobacco control policies like the global tobacco treaty.

The announcement comes on the heels of a report jointly released by the World Health Organization and Bloomberg, projecting that tobacco could kill more than one billion people this century if the current epidemic of tobacco related diseases goes unchecked.

"Big Tobacco continues to pour millions into addicting our children and circumventing the health laws that would protect them," said Kathy Mulvey, international policy director for Corporate Accountability International. "This new investment gives a significant shot in the arm to global efforts to protect public health."

Corporate Accountability International and the Network for Accountability of Tobacco Transnationals have been a driving force behind the global tobacco treaty, formally known as the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC). The treaty binds more than 155 ratifying countries, covering 85 percent of the world's population, with proven measures such as a ban on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship, tax increases and effective warning labels.

The Bloomberg-Gates commitment will provide needed resources to countries to enact, implement and enforce vital tobacco control policies such as those in the global tobacco treaty. This November, ratifying countries will meet in Durban, South Africa.

"And we can only hope that by November, countries will be tapping these new resources to resist Big Tobacco’s power and influence," said Mulvey. "The time we lose in waiting to get needed resources to countries that need it most, are lives we lose to the largest preventable epidemic in the world. The Bloomberg-Gates commitment is needed now and should be a model for other philanthropists to follow."

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Corporate Accountability International, formerly Infact, is a membership organization that protects people by waging and winning campaigns challenging irresponsible and dangerous corporate actions around the world. For 30 years, we’ve forced corporations—like Nestlé, General Electric and Philip Morris/Altria—to stop abusive actions. Corporate Accountability International, an NGO in Official Relations with the World Health Organization (WHO), played a key role in development of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC).

The Network for Accountability of Tobacco Transnationals (NATT) includes more than 100 NGOs from over 50 countries working for a strong, enforceable Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.

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