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Annual Report / Public Health

Annual Report 2022-2023: Public Health

Ensuring Safer, Longer, Healthier Lives

Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Public Health program takes on the world’s leading causes of death from noncommunicable diseases and injuries. We follow the data, build strong partnerships with governments and other organizations, and spread proven solutions to save lives.


Reducing global tobacco use and youth e-cigarette use in the U.S.

Improving road safety

Promoting healthy diets to combat obesity

Preventing cardiovascular diseases

Strengthening health data collection in low- and middle-income countries

Mobilizing cities to reduce noncommunicable diseases and injuries

Combating the U.S. overdose epidemic

Protecting access to reproductive healthcare

Investing in drowning prevention

Addressing challenges to U.S. life expectancy with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Reducing the Use of Tobacco and E-Cigarettes

Since 2007, Bloomberg Philanthropies has led global efforts to reduce tobacco use in more than 110 low- and middle-income countries. Working with national and local governments, we have advocated for a package of proven policies that can save lives, such as banning smoking in public places, raising taxes on tobacco products, and banning tobacco advertising. In February 2023, we announced another major investment in our work to continue passing strong tobacco control policies. Globally, our efforts have helped drive down global cigarette sales, with roughly 750 billion fewer cigarettes sold in 2021 compared to 2012. Based on progress to date, we are projected to save over 35 million lives by 2030.

Beginning in 2019, we have also worked to reduce teen e-cigarette use in the United States, an epidemic that threatens to hook a new generation on nicotine. To date, the program has helped pass 79 state and local bans on flavored e-cigarettes, which have been shown to attract younger users, including 25 new bans in 2022. In November 2022, we helped to defend California’s flavored tobacco ban from a ballot referendum supported by the tobacco industry that sought to overturn it. With our support alongside partners like the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, voters overwhelmingly upheld the ban in a major victory for our work.


Listen to Hear How the Philippines is Working to Combat Youth Vaping




countries with smoke-free laws, up from 10 in 2007.

Helped cut global smoking rates by



over 12 years

Helped pass



U.S. state and local bans on flavored e-cigarettes

With our support, Kampala, Uganda, has worked to increase enforcement of the country’s national smoke-free law.

Strengthening Global Road Safety

Bloomberg Philanthropies works in low and middle-income countries to prevent road traffic crashes, which kill roughly 1.3 million people and injure up to 50 million every year. Our initiative helps implement proven interventions that protect everyone on the road, such as reducing speeding and drinking and driving, improving road infrastructure and vehicle safety standards, increasing the use of helmets and seatbelts, and strengthening data collection. In 2022, our support helped Colombia and Mexico pass major national laws that aim to save lives by reducing speeding and other dangerous road behavior and improving vehicle safety. In total, we have helped strengthen 100 national and subnational laws.




people protected by at least one new or improved road safety law.

Progress to date is projected to save




We partnered on a campaign in Mumbai to increase helmet use and save lives from traffic crashes.

Mobilizing Cities on Public Health Challenges

Launched in 2017 through Mike’s role as World Health Organization Global Ambassador for Noncommunicable Diseases and Injuries, the Partnership for Healthy Cities is a network of 70 cities focused on reducing noncommunicable diseases and injuries.

Two women and four men including Mike Bloomberg standing on stage in front of a sign that says "Partnership for Healthy Cities Summit", they are holding boxes with a ribbon.
In March 2023, at the Partnership for Healthy Cities Summit in London, we recognized mayors and representatives from the five winning cities for their outstanding public health efforts.

In March 2023, we hosted the first Partnership for Healthy Cities Summit in London with over 200 mayors and city delegates, where we recognized five cities for their outstanding efforts on public health challenges: Montevideo, Uruguay, for food policy; Mexico City, Mexico, for road safety; Vancouver, Canada, for data management and surveillance; Athens, Greece, for overdose prevention; and Bengaluru, India, for tobacco control.

In Kumasi, Ghana, local residents and health professionals marched to raise awareness of the harms of sugary drinks and the need for taxation. Credit: Advocating for Health (A4H) Coalition Ghana


Food Policy

In 2022, our partners in Colombia secured major wins in the country. After nearly six years of advocacy, Colombia’s Congress approved a tax on sugary drinks and ultra-processed products, making it one of just a handful of countries to tax both categories.

Supporters urging Colombia's Congress to tax sugary beverages

At Colombia’s National Congress, our partners advocated for taxes on sugary beverages and ultra-processed foods.

Following the tax approval and in the face of intense industry opposition, the Ministry of Health finalized a strong regulation for front-of-package warning labels based on our partners’ recommendations. Because of our partners’ efforts, a court also ordered the ministry to create a committee to monitor implementation, free of influence from the food and beverage industry. It marked the first time that a court authorized civil society to monitor a public health regulation.


Listen to How We Are Raising Awareness of Unhealthy Food and Beverage Marketing

Preventing Cardiovascular Diseases

Through a partnership with Resolve to Save Lives, an initiative founded by Dr. Tom Frieden, former director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Bloomberg Philanthropies also supports efforts to prevent cardiovascular diseases, the world’s leading cause of death. The initiative works predominantly in low- and middle-income countries and focuses on three key strategies: improving treatment of high blood pressure, eliminating artificial trans fats, and reducing sodium. Bloomberg Philanthropies has directed funding to help reduce risk factors in over 60 countries, including priority countries like Bangladesh, China, Ethiopia, India, and countries throughout the Americas.

Improving Health Data Collection and Policymaking

Launched in 2015, our Data for Health initiative works with low- and middle-income countries to improve the collection and use of critical birth, death, and health data. Globally, many countries lack strong systems to collect this data, which prevents them from effectively allocating resources or designing policies and leaves millions of people without access to medical care.

More than



people now covered by stronger data collection practices

10 countries passed



new policies based on improved data collection and use

Community health volunteers facilitated birth and death registration in rural Gambia with our support. Credit: Vital Strategies

Preventing Drowning Deaths

To address a leading cause of injury-related deaths, Bloomberg Philanthropies supports local, data-driven solutions to save lives from drowning deaths in countries with high drowning rates, such as Bangladesh, Ghana, Uganda, and Vietnam.


A swimming pool full of kids wearing inflatable orange vests and holding the guard rail while swimming, a male teacher is in the middle of the pool.

In Vietnam, over 26,000 children have now passed a survival swimming course that we supported.

Drowning Prevention

Beginning in 2012, when we discovered that drowning was the leading cause of death for children under five in Bangladesh, we tested solutions to save lives. We funded more than 2,500 community daycare sites to supervise and help educate kids at the same time and found that they reduced drowning deaths by as much as 88%. In 2022, our success spurred the government of Bangladesh to take over the program and commit to scaling it from 50,000 children to 200,000 annually.

Classroom with young kids watching a female teacher write on a small chalkboard, there are alphabet, animal and bird posters attached to the walls.

Children in Bangladesh attended a daycare site supported through our drowning prevention program.

Defending Access to Reproductive Healthcare

In 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in its ruling on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, eliminating federal protections for the right to abortion. Mike has continued to strongly support organizations that are fighting to protect and expand abortion rights, as he has for decades. Following the decision, he was a leading supporter in successful state advocacy efforts. He helped elect pro-choice majorities to state supreme courts through public education campaigns, backed ballot measures in Kansas, Kentucky, and Michigan, and supported pro-choice candidates nationwide. After many states criminalized abortion, our team worked with partners to provide legal resources and aid for providers, patients, and supporters.

Training a New Generation of Public Health Leaders

In 2016, we established the Bloomberg American Health Initiative at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health to address declining U.S. life expectancy and train new public health leaders. The program focuses on five major health threats facing the United States: addiction and overdose; risks to adolescent health; environmental challenges; food systems for health; and violence.

Group photo of a diverse group of people standing on a long staircase inside a building. A poster behind them says "Bloomberg American Health Summit 2022".
In December 2022, the Bloomberg American Health Summit drew over 400 experts, officials, journalists, and advocates. Speakers included Pennsylvania Governor-elect Josh Shapiro, New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, and Bloomberg School faculty and fellows.

It supports full scholarships for Master of Public Health and Doctor of Public Health fellows, with the requirement that each prospective fellow apply with a collaborating organization and continue working with that organization in the community for at least a year after graduation. To date, 339 students have graduated or are currently enrolled in the program.

Combating the U.S. Overdose Epidemic

To address record overdose deaths and declining life expectancy in the United States, Bloomberg Philanthropies leads efforts to combat the overdose crisis by increasing access to medication treatment and supporting harm reduction interventions. Our initiative focuses on three core strategies: developing and implementing effective policies and interventions in seven key states; creating and disseminating tools that can guide all states; and pushing for federal reform through lobbying, education, and awareness. In 2022, the initiative helped pass important legislation in Kentucky, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and New Mexico, as well as nationally.

Top photo: Children in Vietnam received survival swimming classes with support from our drowning prevention program, which identifies local solutions to save lives from drowning.