Pledge against Funding from the Foundation for a Smoke-Free World
On September 13, 2017, it was announced that Philip Morris International has committed to contribute close to $1 billion to fund the Foundation for a Smoke-Free World.
Philip Morris International (PMI) and its Foundation are not a part of the solution to the massive social and economic harms caused by tobacco company products and their promotion. The world’s first public health treaty – the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control – is clear: “There is a fundamental and irreconcilable conflict between the tobacco industry’s interests and public health policy interests.” If Philip Morris truly wanted to establish a “smoke-free world” they would stop legal challenges to local and national tobacco control efforts and cease advertising and manufacturing cigarettes. Indeed, the company is largely responsible for creating the current-day tobacco epidemic it is now claiming to wish to alleviate.
As leaders of universities and non-profit organizations invested in protecting the public’s health, we are announcing today that our institutions are not accepting sponsorship or funding from this Foundation.
Philip Morris has a long history of funding research designed to confuse the public. There is concern across the global public health community that the Foundation for a Smoke-Free World will enable PMI to enhance its image and boost its claims to be a legitimate stakeholder in discussions to address tobacco use, all while simultaneously continuing to profit from tobacco sales and undermine research and policy efforts proven to reduce tobacco use. In many countries, PMI and its subsidiaries are also introducing flavored cigarettes that appeal to youth, conducting aggressive marketing near elementary schools, sponsoring race cars and concerts, and engaging in other youth-oriented marketing.
The world’s leading credible tobacco control and public health experts such as the World Health Organization, International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, the International Framework Convention Alliance for Tobacco Control, American Cancer Society, World Heart Federation, and Physicians for a Smoke-free Canada have publicly denounced PMI’s foundation.
Additionally, a growing number of deans from leading schools of public health around the world, led by Dean Ellen J. MacKenzie at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health have issued a joint statement pledging not to work with the PMI-funded Foundation for a Smoke-Free World.
Our institutions consider funding from the Foundation for a Smoke-Free World to be equivalent to funding from the tobacco industry. As a result, we pledge to reject funding or sponsorship from the Foundation.
Alphabetical order by Institution
Wah-Yun Low, PhD, MSc
Asia Pacific Academic Consortium for Public Health
Agustin Kumumayati , MD, PhD, MSc
Association of Public Health Higher Education Institutions
Faridul Alam, MD, PhD
Bangladesh University of Health Sciences
Nguyen Hoang Yen
Center for Health Consultation and Community Development
Don Tuan Phuong
Centre for Sustainable Development Studies
Nguyen Thi An, MD, MPH
Tran Diep Tuan, MD, PhD
Ho Chi Minh City Medicine and Pharmacy University
N Devadasan, PhD, MPH
Institute of Public Health, Bengaluru
Rebecca Ivers, PhD, MPH
School of Population Health
University of New South Wales – Sydney
Norman Maldonado, PhD
PROESA - Centre for Studies in Social Protection and Health Economics
Jorge Luis Molina, MD
Faculty of Medical Sciences
University of Rosario
K Srinath Reddy, MD, MSc
Public Health Foundation of India
Phudit Tejativaddhana MD, MPA
ASEAN Institute for Health Development
Nawzia Yasmin, MPH, MBBS
School of Health Sciences
State University of Bangladesh