Former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg is putting $20m into countering the tobacco industry’s attempts to undermine tobacco control measures, with the creation of a new global watchdog called Stopping Tobacco Organisations and Products (STOP) that will be run by his foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies. The initiative was launched as the 17th World Conference on Tobacco or Health gets under way in Cape Town this week. Tobacco kills 7-million people a year, and more than 80% of the globe’s 1-billion smokers live in low- and middle-income countries, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO). STOP aims to identify deceptive tactics employed by the tobacco industry, and provide support to countries to counter Big Tobacco’s influence, said Kelly Henning, who heads Bloomberg Philanthropies’ public health programme. "There is concern about tobacco industry behaviour in SA as there is in all of sub-Saharan Africa," she said. "We are trying to protect the gains being made globally an...

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