Michael Bloomberg. Photo: Roy Rochlin/Getty Images
Billionaire and former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg's philanthropic arm announced plans on Tuesday to spend $160 million over 3 years in an attempt to ban flavored e-cigarettes in the U.S., saying tobacco companies "are preying on America's youth."
Why it matters: Though Bloomberg Philanthropies has backed efforts to curb tobacco use around the world before, this is reportedly the organization's first time financing an anti-tobacco initiative in the U.S., per the Washington Post. The pledge follows state and federal investigations into multiple deaths from an unknown lung illness linked to vaping.
The big picture: States including New York and Michigan have announced plans to ban the products.
- Meanwhile, the Washington Post says the Federal Trade Commission is investigating Juul's marketing practices and how their messages specifically target kids and young adults. The FDA also sent the company a warning letter this week for misleading marketing on its vaping technology, especially in its youth outreach.
What's next: Bloomberg Philanthropies will work in coordination with the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. The funds will be used to push local, state and federal governments to implement bans on flavored e-cigarettes, impose stricter standards and encourage the FDA to strengthen its approval process for vaping products.
Go deeper: Juul's growing kids crisis