Quitting smoking is hard, and most smokers have trouble giving it up without help. The Foundation’s global 2018 State of Smoking Survey results confirm that stopping smoking is a challenging endeavor for smokers in all countries. Current smoking cessation tools (products and services), while helpful for some people, 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, very few applications, if any, have been rigorously tested and validated for their efficacy.
Most smokers live in low- and middle-income countries, where the problem of quitting smoking is compounded by the poor availability and affordability of existing smoking cessation products. A similar situation is expected for reduced-risk products.
The Foundation will fund and support work to answer 2 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?
The EY-Parthenon global landscape analysis of smoking cessation products and services is the first step in the Foundation’s work to answer these questions. Building on these findings, we will engage with interested stakeholders to:
- Assess the root causes of low 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 products and services
- Determine how the Foundation can best deploy its funds to implement these solutions quickly