Philip Morris funded Foundation is more PR than research acc to Tobacco Watchdog

June 12 2019: The first analysis of the 2018 tax return of the Philip Morris International (PMI) funded Foundation for a Smoke Free World (FSFW), revealed that most of the Foundation’s funding activities have gone more into public relations (PR) than into scientific researches; and that the “it is essentially working as a front group for PMI, serving as “key public relations function” for the tobacco giant, rather than an independent scientific organisation working towards tobacco control.”

The tobacco industry activity brief , produced by Stopping Tobacco Organizations and Products (STOP), a global tobacco industry watchdog where GGTC is a partner,

provides  a “summary of evidence to support growing consensus that FSFW is essentially working as a front group for PMI, “shedding light on its lack of independence, its spending on marketing vs science and its work with researchers known to be tainted by industry funding.”

FSFW came under fire from WHO and the public health community as soon as it was set up in 2017  through PMI funding of $960 million over a 12-year period. Calling itself as a scientific organisation aiming to “accelerate an end to smoking”,  FSFW has been reaching out to research groups and NGOs, even the WHO, in search of partners for “smoke free” and scientific initiatives. However, the public health community has consistently rejected this through open letters, calls for its rejection, and official public statements. Governments are provided tools, based on the global tobacco control treaty which isolates the tobacco industry as a public health nemesis (WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control Article 5.3), to encourage rejection of tobacco industry funding and its outputs.

Stopping Tobacco Organizations and Products (STOP) is a global tobacco industry watchdog whose mission is to expose the tobacco industry strategies and tactics that undermine public health. STOP is funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies and its promise of global industry monitoring was well-received by the tobacco control community which broadly sees a need for a dedicated actor in this area.



  1. Latest Tax Return Sheds Light on The Philip Morris-funded Foundation for a Smoke-free World at
  2. Statements Rejecting FSFW (Tobacco funding) from various organizations and institutions
  1. WHO FCTC Secretariat Statement rejecting FSFW


Global Center for Good Governance in Tobacco Control (GGTC) aims to address the single greatest obstacle to tobacco control, tobacco industry interference. It is a joint initiative of the School of Global Studies, Thammasat University and Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance (SEATCA) and has been designated as the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control Secretariat as the Knowledge Hub on Article 5.3, (treaty provision on countering tobacco industry interference).  GGTC is also a key partner of the Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Stopping Tobacco Organizations and Products (STOP).