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Statement from Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Dr. Kelly Henning on the World Trade Organization’s Ruling Upholding Plain Packaging Requirements in Australia

Following is a statement from Dr. Kelly Henning, head of Bloomberg Philanthropies’ public health programs, on today’s World Trade Organization ruling in favor of plain packaging on tobacco products sold in Australia:

“The World Trade Organization’s ruling in favor of Australia’s plain packaging law is an important victory for public health. It sends a message to tobacco companies worldwide that they can and will be defeated, and it helps create a roadmap for other countries to implement plain packaging laws, a strategy that is proven to decrease use of tobacco products.

“Bloomberg Philanthropies applauds the WTO for its decision and will continue to champion efforts like this to implement proven tobacco control policies and help combat the global tobacco epidemic.”

Background on Bloomberg & Tobacco Control

Michael R. Bloomberg has long been focused on improving public health—during his time as New York City Mayor, in his work through his foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, and now in his role as the World Health Organization Global Ambassador for Noncommunicable Diseases.

Bloomberg Philanthropies has committed nearly $1 billion since 2007 to combat tobacco use worldwide. The Bloomberg Initiative to Reduce Tobacco Use partners with low- and middle-income countries to reduce tobacco use through a comprehensive, proven approach that combines evidence-based policy change with increased public awareness. Key strategies of this approach include creating smoke-free public places, banning tobacco advertising, increasing tax on tobacco products, requiring graphic pack warnings and supporting hard-hitting mass media campaigns.

Media contact: Jean Weinberg, or +1-212-205-0247