As former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg gets his bid for the presidency into gear, his foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, has been helping to prevent tobacco use and vaping. According to recent tax filings, Bloomberg’s foundation allocated over $100 million to The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids in 2018.
The Campaign funds anti-vaping efforts as smoking among children and teens is moving away from traditional cigarettes and to vaping, which some erroneously perceive as less harmful. The non-profit accepted three grants worth $25.9 million to combat vaping, their 2018 tax return revealed.
This revelation could bode well for Bloomberg’s efforts to win the support of voters. He is a long-term supporter of organizations dedicated to preventing tobacco use, using his personal fortune to do so. His opponent, President Trump, has recently reneged on his position to ban flavored e-cigarettes.
Those who believe vaping and e-cigarettes are safe were contradicted this week by the newly released Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that said that 47 fatalities were caused by vaping and 2,290 illnesses are associated with the behavior.
“For more than a decade, Mike Bloomberg’s leadership taking on the tobacco industry has been second to none. The policies he put forward during his time as mayor of New York City and as a philanthropist have saved millions of lives worldwide,” Rachel Nagler, spokesperson for Bloomberg Philanthropies said, referring in part to his mayoral ban on smoking in restaurants and bars. “President Trump backing off of his promise to clear the market of all flavored e-cigarettes shows he cares more about the tobacco industry than kids’ health.”
Out of a total of $767 million Bloomberg gave in charitable donations last year, $458 million went to his family foundation, according to Nagler. Aside from fighting against tobacco use, Bloomberg also gave money around the world to promote public education, build infrastructure, support cultural institutions, and to fight climate change.