Innovation | Foundation for a Smoke-Free World


Quitting smoking can be a challenging endeavor for smokers all over the world. Long –term current smoking cessation tools have overall low effectiveness. The pharmaceutical research-and-development pipeline for new smoking cessation products is sparse. Technology solutions, notably many mobile device applications, are now available to help smokers quit. However, few applications have been rigorously tested and validated for their efficacy.

The Foundation commissioned EY-Parthenon to conduct a global landscape analysis of smoking cessation products and services. Here are some key findings as detailed in the report:

  • Although 89 distinct smoking cessation solutions are available today, their effectiveness in terms of successful one-year abstinence is less than 25%. That is, fewer than 25% of smokers who use smoking cessation solutions stay remained smoke-free after one year
  • Not many new promising smoking cessation solutions are currently in development
  • There are significant unmet needs around smoking cessation

The full report and supporting data can be found here.

Building on these findings, we strive to engage with key stakeholders to:

  • Assess the root causes of sparse innovation and low scale-up of promising solutions for smoking cessation
  • Build consensus on what the right vehicles and approaches are for stimulating innovation of smoking cessation products and services
  • Determine how the Foundation can best deploy its funds to implement these solutions quickly

The Foundation will fund and support innovative work to answer two questions:

  • How can we develop highly effective smoking cessation tools (e.g., effectiveness estimated by a quit rate of >50% for a 12-month period)? How can these tools be optimized for various groups: men and women, older smokers, and vulnerable populations such as indigenous peoples?
  • How can we make smoking cessation tools and reduced-risk products accessible and affordable for people in low- and middle-income countries?
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