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In response to alarming levels of e-cigarette use among kids in the United States, Bloomberg Philanthropies launches a $160 million initiative to end the youth e-cigarette epidemic.
 
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September 10, 2019

Ban Flavored E-Cigarettes to Protect Our Children

We know Big Tobacco's playbook: It's targeting kids — and putting them in serious danger. 

By: Mike Bloomberg & Matt Myers, President of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids 
Any adult knows that if you want to get a child’s attention, there is no enticement like candy.

This currency of youth has become the new weapon of choice for tobacco companies. They are making huge investments in nicotine-loaded e-cigarettes and selling them in a rainbow of sweet and fruity flavors like cotton candy, gummy bear, mango, and mint. They’re turning millions of young people into addicted customers, all the while insisting that they aren’t targeting kids at all.

But we know Big Tobacco’s playbook. We’ve seen this before. They are targeting kids – and putting them in serious danger.

Federal health officials announced on Friday that vaping could be the cause of at least 450 possible cases of severe lung disease — with five confirmed deaths — in 33 states. Many of the affected people are teenagers. And on Monday, the Food and Drug Administration said that Juul, the leading e-cigarette company, has violated federal regulations in promoting its tobacco products as healthier than traditional cigarettes.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that people who use e-cigarettes should consider stopping and that children should not use e-cigarettes at all. Yet the number of young users is jarring. One in five high school students used e-cigarettes in 2018, an increase of 78 percent over 2017. E-cigarette use was up by nearly 50 percent among middle schoolers in the same period. More than three and a half million American children now use e-cigarettes, with 97 percent of users aged 12 to 17 choosing flavored products.

This is an urgent health crisis, and tobacco companies are behind it. They are major players in the e-cigarette market — including Altria, the tobacco giant and parent company of Marlboro, which paid roughly $13 billion for a stake in Juul. To those of us on the front lines of the fight against tobacco use, the tactics companies are employing to sell e-cigarettes — flavorings, unfounded health claims and the hiring of celebrity promoters — are all too familiar. They are the same strategies that tobacco companies have long used to get kids to try cigarettes...

The F.D.A. can ban flavors immediately, but it has repeatedly kicked the can down the road when it comes to taking serious steps. So on Tuesday, our organizations, Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, are starting a national campaign — including an investment of $160 million to empower parents and kids and to push our leaders to act.

Continue reading Mike's op-ed in The New York Times

Learn more on Bloomberg.org and join the fight at FightFlavoredECigs.org

Watch Mike and Matt Myers discuss this new initiative on CBS This Morning here

Bloomberg Philanthropies Announces Partnership to Scale Civic Innovation Program in Israel


Bloomberg Philanthropies launched Hazira, a national hub for city innovation and a major new effort to accelerate civic innovation in municipalities across Israel. In partnership with the Ministry of the Interior and the Peres Center for Peace and Innovation, Hazira will scale the Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Innovation Teams (i-teams) program to 12 new cities across Israel over the course of five years and provide municipalities with the tools needed to tackle their most difficult, complex challenges. 

Learn more here.

Podcast: The Surprising Green Revolution Happening in Finance


Mike sat down with Ed Skyler from Citi and Carl Pope to discuss how cities, states and companies are leading on climate change in the latest episode of POLITICO's Global Translations podcast.

In Mike's words: "The fact is, in the United States, the decisions that have been the most influential over greenhouse gas emissions are not made by the federal government. These decisions are made by mayors and governors and corporate executives and individuals for their own homes who want to deliver cheaper energy, more jobs, clean air and lead healthier lives."

Listen to the podcast here

Available Today: The Many Lives of Michael Bloomberg

Available today: With unprecedented access, Eleanor Randolph, veteran New York Times reporter and editorial writer who covered New York City and state politics, offers a revealing portrait of Michael Bloomberg.

Available on Amazon.com.
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