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The Foundation for a Smoke-Free World embraces bold, innovative approaches to ending the tobacco epidemic. This strategy is motivated by decades of stagnation in the field and by the urgent need to combat the global devastation caused by tobacco. In order catalyze change, we support researchers who prioritize new, effective solutions, as well as initiatives that cater to demographics and regions historically underrepresented in tobacco control efforts.
This work has the potential to drastically reduce the death and disease caused by smoking. Yet, because our strategies dare to depart from the status quo, cynics may doubt their feasibility. These doubts sometimes manifest as thoughtful conversations, and other times as unfounded attacks on the Foundation. Committed to transparency and open dialogue, we take time to consider and respond to this class of commentary.
In a recent report, Stopping Tobacco Organizations and Products (STOP) made several false statements about the Foundation for a Smoke-Free World (FSFW or the Foundation). Not only are the assertions made in the report false, as outlined below; but the entirety of the report should be read with skepticism because it apparently is influenced by the dogmatic approach of Bloomberg Philanthropies, which funds STOP.
This report is not the first time that Bloomberg Philanthropies has attempted to monopolize conversation in this field. All in, Mr. Bloomberg has committed almost $1 billion to tobacco control. His philanthropies now fund tobacco programs for the World Health Organization and the World Bank—potentially leading to outsized policy influence. This funding is being used to undermine tobacco harm reduction (THR) and intimidate those who are more open-minded—a practice that has no place in science.