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Statement on the Foundation for a Smoke-Free World

Published

On September 13, 2017, it was announced that Philip Morris International plans to contribute close to $1 billion to fund an organization to be known as the Foundation for a Smoke-Free World. The Foundation has the stated mission of reducing illness and death from smoking and lists as its priorities: supporting research on harm reduction and smoking cessation, identifying the right interventions, monitoring industry actions, and preparing tobacco farmers for a future of reduced demand.

As deans and leaders of schools of public health, we are announcing today that, after considering numerous factors and scientific best practices, our schools are not accepting funding from or pursuing work with this Foundation.

The World Health Organization and other organizations that support smoking prevention and tobacco control efforts in the United States and around the world have pledged not to work with the Foundation for a Smoke-Free World. This position is a result of the Foundation’s close association with an industry and a company whose products have killed millions of people around the world. Further, both the tobacco industry and Philip Morris International have a long history of funding “research” in ways meant to purposely confuse the public and advance their own interests, aggressively market cigarettes globally, including to children, and persist in their relentless opposition to evidence-based tobacco control interventions. The Framework Convention on Tobacco Control—the world’s first public health treaty—states, “There is a fundamental and irreconcilable conflict between the tobacco industry’s interests and public health policy interests.” If Philip Morris really wished to establish a “smoke-free world” they would stop legal challenges to local and national tobacco control efforts and cease advertising and manufacturing cigarettes.

Recently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration proposed a framework for regulating nicotine that holds tremendous potential, as well as potential risks, for public health. Recognizing that nicotine is addictive, it is imperative that public health regulation of nicotine products is based upon strong scientific evidence and astute judgment. Success in saving millions of lives will depend on research and policy development untainted by the interests of the tobacco industry.

It has been suggested by the CEO of the Foundation that the Foundation’s bylaws and structure meet standards for use of industry funds published by leaders in the tobacco control field. This assertion is untrue. Major differences include a lack of transparency about how the research agenda was established and the public relations benefits realized by Philip Morris International, even as it increases its marketing of products that predictably will continue to kill millions of people around the world. The relationship of the organization to its funding is also an important distinction. An illustrative comparison is with the Legacy Foundation (now Truth Initiative). Following a settlement of state-initiated litigation, the tobacco industry was legally required to make payments to Legacy, and the industry did not control any aspect of how these funds were used.

Our schools of public health consider funding from the Foundation for a Smoke-Free World to be equivalent to funding from the tobacco industry and, as a result, we are not collaborating with the Foundation.

As more details become clear, we will seek answers to several questions to determine whether to consider revisiting this position. These questions include:

  • How is the research agenda established, including whether prevention of nicotine addiction and tobacco use is considered;
  • Whether there is an impermeable firewall between Philip Morris International and the Foundation;
  • How Philip Morris International will use the Foundation for its own benefit; and
  • How Philip Morris demonstrates a true commitment to meaningful change as a company, including (1) a specific timeline and milestones for phasing out advertising of cigarettes and cigarettes themselves; and, (2) the immediate cessation of activities hostile to the policies advanced by the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.

Sincerely,

Alphabetical order by University

Tri Martiana, MD, MS
Dean
Faculty of Public Health
Airlangga University
As of February 24, 2020

Shanthi Johnson, PhD, RD, FACSM
Dean
School of Public Health
University of Alberta, Canada

Zohar Mor, MD, MPH, MHA
Head
Department of Public Health
Ashkelon Academic College
As of January 5, 2021

Vesna Bjegovic-Mikanovic, MD, PhD, MS
Vice Dean
School of Public Health and Management
University of Belgrade
As of February 24, 2020

Nadav Davidovitch, MD, MPH, PhD
Director
School of Public Health
Ben Gurion University of the Negev
As of January 5, 2021

Oliver Razum, MD, MS
Chair
School of Public Health
University of Bielefeld
As of February 24, 2020

Sandro Galea, MD, DrPH, MPH
Dean
School of Public Health
Boston University
As of February 24, 2020

Sabrina F. Rashid, PhD, MAnth
Dean
James P Grant School of Public Health
BRAC University
As of March 24, 2020

Yuvadee Rodjarkpai, DrPH
Dean
Faculty of Public Health
Burapha University
As of December 1, 2020

John Danesh, MD, DPhil, MSc
Head
Department of Public Health and Primary Care
University of Cambridge
As of January 5, 2021

Miguel Angel Royo Bordonada, MD, PhD
Director
National School of Public Health
Institute of Health Carlos III
As of February 24, 2020

Bing-Fang Hwang, PhD
Dean
College of Public Health
China Medical University
As of February 24, 2020

Samual Wong, MD, MPH
Director
Jockey Club School of Public Health and Primary Care
The Chinese University of Hong Kong
As of December 1, 2020

Jonathan M. Samet, MD, MS
Dean
Colorado School of Public Health
University of Colorado | Colorado State University | University of Northern Colorado

Costas Christophi, PhD
Head
Cyprus International Institute for Environmental and Public Health
Cyprus University of Technology
As of March 24, 2020

Ana V. Diez Roux, MD, PhD, MPH
Dean
Dornsife School of Public Health
Drexel University
As of February 24, 2020

Kashif Shafique, PhD, MPH, MBBS
Principal
School of Public Health
Dow University of Health Sciences
As of March 24, 2020

Laurent Chambaud, MD, MPH
Dean
École Des Hautes Estudes En Santé Publique
As of February 24, 2020

Tomás R. Guilarte, PhD
Dean
Robert Stempel College of Public Health & Social Work
Florida International University

Na He, PhD
Dean
School of Public Health
Fudan University
As of February 24, 2020

Julius Fobil, DrPH
Dean
School of Public Health
University of Ghana
As of February 24, 2020

Lynn R. Goldman, MD, MS, MPH
Dean
Milken Institute School of Public Health
George Washington University
As of December 1, 2020

Shira Zelber-Sagi, PhD, RD
Head
School of Public Health
University of Haifa
As of January 5, 2021

Michelle A. Williams, ScD
Dean
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
Harvard University

Yehuda Neumark, PhD, MPH
Director
Braun School of Public Health and Community Health
Hebrew University of Jerusalem
As of January 5, 2021

Amel El-Sahn, DrPH
Director
High Institute of Public Health in Alexandria 
As of February 24, 2020

Keiji Fukuda, MD, MPH
Director
School of Public Health
The University of Hong Kong
As of December 1, 2020

Tangchun Wu, MD, PhD
Dean
School of Public Health
Huazhong University of Science and Technology
As of March 24, 2020

Wayne H. Giles, MD, MS
Dean
School of Public Health
University of Illinois at Chicago

Paul K. Halverson, DrPH, MHSA, FACHE
Founding Dean
Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health
Indiana University

David B. Allison, PhD
Dean
School of Public Health
Indiana University-Bloomington
As of February 1, 2018

Sabarinah Prasetyo, MD, MSc
Dean
Faculty of Public Health
Universitas Indonesia
As of January 5, 2021

Kwang Kee Kim, PhD, MPH
Dean
Graduate School of Public Health
Inje University
As of January 5, 2021 

Ellen J. MacKenzie, PhD, MSc
Dean
Bloomberg School of Public Health
Johns Hopkins University

Auyezova Ardak Muhanbetzhanovna, MD, PhD
Rector
Higher School of Public Health
Kazakhstan Medical University
As of December 1, 2020

Donna Arnett, PhD, MSPH
Dean
College of Public Health
University of Kentucky

Wongsa Laohasiriwong, PhD, MPH
Dean
Faculty of Public Health
Khon Kaen University
As of December 1, 2020

Seok-Jun Yoon, MD PhD
Dean
Graduate School of Public Health
Korea University
As of January 5, 2021

Yurochko Tetyana Petrovna, PhD
Head
School of Public Health
National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy
As of February 24, 2020

Helen Hopp Marshak, PhD, MCHES
Dean
School of Public Health
Loma Linda University

Sumattana Glangkarn, PhD
Dean
Faculty of Public Health
Mahasarakham University
As of December 1, 2020

Chanuantong Tanasugarn, PhD, MPH
Dean
Faculty of Public Health
Mahidol University
As of March 24, 2020

John Phuka, PhD, MBBS
Dean
School of Public Health and Family Medicine
University of Malawi College of Medicine
As of February 24, 2020

Boris D. Lushniak, MD, MPH
Dean
School of Public Health
University of Maryland

John R. Finnegan, Jr., PhD
Dean
School of Public Health
University of Minnesota

Narongsak Noosorn, PhD
Dean
Faculty of Public Health
Naresuan University
As of December 1, 2020

Shou-Hsia Cheng, PhD, MS
Dean
College of Public Health
National Taiwan University
As of February 24, 2020

Barbara K. Rimer, DrPH, MPH
Dean
Gillings School of Global Public Health
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
As of February 1, 2018

William J. Martin, MD
Dean
College of Public Health
Ohio State University

S. Umashankar, MPH
Principal
Padmashree School of Public Health
As of February 24, 2020

Qingyue Meng, MD, PhD
Dean
School of Public Health
Peking University
As of February 24, 2020

Vicente Y. Belizario, Jr., MD, MTM&H
Dean
College of Public Health
University of the Philippines Manila
As of December 1, 2020 

Henrique Barros, MD, PhD
President
Institute of Public Health
University of Porto
As of March 24, 2020

Perry N. Halkitis, PhD, MS, MPH
Dean
School of Public Health
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

Shaban Memeti, MD
Director
Centre for Public Health
Ss. Cyril and Methodius University
As of February 24, 2020

Kiyoung Lee, ScD
Dean
Graduate School of Public Health
Seoul National University
As of December 1, 2020

Yik-Ying Teo, DPhil, MSC
Dean
Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health
National University of Singapore
As of December 1, 2020

G. Thomas Chandler, MS, PhD
Dean
Norman J. Arnold School of Public Health
University of South Carolina

Yariv Gerber, PhD
Head
School of Public Health
Tel Aviv University
As of January 5, 2021

Sasitorn Taptagaporn, PhD
Dean
Faculty of Public Health
Thammasat University
As of December 1, 2020

Pierre Buekens, MD, MPH, PhD
Dean
School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine
Tulane University

Ady Wirawan, MD, PhD, MPH
Head
School of Public Health
Udayana University
As of February 24, 2020

Warit Jawjit, PhD, MSc
Dean
School of Public Health
Walailak University
As of December 1, 2020

Jeffrey H. Coben, MD
Dean
School of Public Health
West Virginia University

Ronald A. Perez, PhD
Dean
Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Stephen Gordon, MD
Director
Wellcome Trust Yale School of Public Health – Malawi
As of February 24, 2020

Hla Hla Win, PhD, MBBS
Rector
University of Public Health Yangon
As of February 24, 2020

Jong Uk Won, MD DrPH
Dean
Graduate School of Public Health
Yonsei University
As of January 5, 2021


This page was updated March 29, 2021.