Our Vision | Foundation for a Smoke-Free World

This page was last edited on October 12, 2023 at 11:38 am


The mission of the Foundation for a Smoke-Free World (“FSFW” or “Foundation”) is to end smoking in this generation.


Our vision is a world in which combustible tobacco, other toxic forms of tobacco, and smoking-related death and disease are eliminated, and tobacco-dependent agriculture and economies are diversified.


We are guided by the following fundamental values:

  • Collaboration
  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
  • Excellence
  • Innovation
  • Integrity
  • Transparency
  • Urgency

These values are not just words on a page, but the standards we live by every day as an organization. Consequently, as we consider our grantmaking and grant-supporting work we are staunch in our commitment to working with grantees and others who share our values. We prioritize working with partners who offer the Foundation the opportunity to interact with diverse teams, bringing a range of perspectives. We believe this approach improves the quality of outputs and our work experience.

Our Work

The Foundation funds research (and engages in direct charitable activities) that is nonduplicative and novel, focusing on scientific and regulatory gaps in furtherance of the purposes for which the Foundation was formed. We focus on three main subject areas:

For the incidence of cigarette smoking and other toxic forms of tobacco use to decrease, current users must quit or switch to reduced risk products (“RRPs”), and non-smokers and those who do not use tobacco in any form must not start. Researchers and experts define the former path as the “off-ramp” of smokers and tobacco users, and the latter path as the “on-ramp” of non-smokers and non-tobacco users. The material net gain for public health can be achieved only if substantially more smokers quit than non-smokers start. 

Proponents of tobacco harm reduction (“THR”) focus on the benefits of the off-ramp—that is, RRPs as a means of helping smokers quit. The traditional tobacco control community highlights the challenges associated with the on-ramp, focusing particularly on youth vaping.

Considering the research being conducted globally, as well as gaps in current knowledge, the Foundation makes grants to fund non-duplicative and novel research associated with smoking cessation and THR, including in areas such as:

  • Improving understanding about whether THR products are an on-ramp for non-smokers and/or an off-ramp cessation tool for smokers;
  • The effects of THR product use;
  • The availability of, and economics associated with, THR and risk-proportionate regulation;
  • Misperceptions about nicotine;
  • Correcting misinformation and disinformation about THR, so that it is assessed based on evidence; and
  • Supporting medical and other health professionals in advising smokers and tobacco users, with an emphasis on marginalized and diverse communities as well as low- and middle-income countries.  

The Tobacco Transformation Index research platform is a tool, the first of its kind, which complements the Foundation’s research agenda as a change agent. Its theory of change is predicated on the forces of competition, differentiation, and constructive engagement. The Index is not an end in itself, but acts as a potential accelerant by indirectly influencing company behavior in a manner in line with our mission.

The Foundation’s grantmaking in Malawi, one of the world’s most tobacco-dependent economies, is aimed at assisting smallholder tobacco farmers in becoming less dependent on tobacco and achieving sustainable livelihoods. The programs and work that the Foundation sponsors in Malawi are demonstrating progress and attracting potential partners. With the assistance of our local affiliate, Agricultural Transformation Initiative, the Foundation will continue to support the Centre for Agricultural Transformation, which incubates innovative programs eventually to be housed in a physical structure, and the MwAPATA Institute, which engages in policy research relating to agricultural diversification in the country.  


The Foundation will expend its efforts and charitable funds over the next three years (2022-2024) to achieve the following five goals:

  1. Reduce barriers to quitting and/or switching from combustibles and other toxic tobacco products.
  2. Strengthen understanding, knowledge, and research capacity in the area of tobacco harm reduction and its role in ending smoking.
  3. Support the development of a diversified agricultural ecosystem in Malawi to lead smallholder farmers toward alternative livelihoods.
  4. Drive the transformation of tobacco companies for the benefit of public health.
  5. Strengthen the Foundation’s future to fulfill its mission.

Who We Are

The Foundation for a Smoke-Free World is an independent, U.S. nonprofit 501(c)(3) grantmaking organization with the purpose of improving global health by ending smoking in this generation. Through September 2023, the Foundation received charitable gifts from PMI Global Services Inc. (“PMI”). Independent from PMI since its founding in 2017, the Foundation continues to operate in a manner that ensures its independence from any commercial entity. The Foundation seeks to collaborate with associations and institutions to accelerate our investments in life-saving research projects.

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