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WHO Welcomes New York Mayor's Anti-Smoking Donation


The World Health Organization has praised New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's plan to donate 125 million to a Worldwide Stop Smoking Initiative.

In a statement Wednesday, the WHO said the contribution will help end the tobacco epidemic.

On Tuesday, Bloomberg, a billionaire and former smoker, said smoking has been overlooked by the philanthropic community. The mayor's donation is expected to help fund programs that help smokers quit and educate children about the dangers of smoking.

The WHO says tobacco use kills about five million people every year and the number could double if the current trend continues.

WHO Acting-Director General, Dr. Anders Nordstrom, says countries can take action by increasing tobacco taxes, banning tobacco advertising, requiring health warning labels on tobacco products, and supporting smoke-free environments.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.