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New anti-tobacco agency launched

07 Mar 2018. A new watchdog agency has been launched using funding from philanthropist Michael Bloomberg to monitor the tactics of the tobacco industry and cigarette companies, The Guardian reported.

Stopping Tobacco Organisations and Products (Stop) was launched in Cape Town at the 17th World Conference on Tobacco and Health and has received initial funding of USD 20 million (EUR 16 million) from Bloomberg Philanthropies. The agency has been founded amid “fears of dirty tactics” by cigarette companies, The Guardian said.

Bloomberg Philanthropies said the Stop agency will “aggressively monitor deceptive tobacco industry tactics and practices to undermine public health,” and will collate data on the tactics and behavior of tobacco companies in low- and middle-income- countries and make this information available through a public website, the newspaper said.

Bloomberg Philanthropies was set up by former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has committed around USD 1 billion to fighting Big Tobacco and smoking and is currently global ambassador for noncommunicable diseases at the World Health Organisation.