The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has given a five-year, $14 million grant to Emory University to build programs that help reduce tobacco use in China.
The grant will help establish the Emory Global Health Institute – China Tobacco Partnership, a collaborative project that will work with Chinese leaders to address one of the country’s – and the world’s – greatest public health challenges, Emory officials said.
“Tobacco is the largest cause of preventable deaths globally, and China has the most smokers in the world. There is a huge opportunity in this project to have a major impact on global health,” said Jeffrey Koplan, Emory vice president for global health and director of the Emory Global Health Institute.
The world’s most populous nation, China has more smokers than the United States has people.
China is also the world’s top producer of tobacco products, and the largest cigarette producer is a state-run monopoly that earns China billions in profits and excise tax revenue, according to an Emory news release citing the World Health Organization.
The partnership will use scientific research as the basis of the programs it develops throughout the country, tailoring presentations to the specific cultures of cities and provinces.
The Emory Global Health Institute will also provide funding and support to set up China’s first national tobacco control resource centers.
Mr. Koplan, former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, will serve as the grant’s principal investigator and will lead the partnership with Pamela Redmon, executive director of Emory’s Tobacco Technical Assistance Consortium, a partner in the new project.