Around the world, the 20th century saw significant progress made to reduce the prevalence of smoking. But much remains to be done: around a billion people today still smoke – many more than in 1980; 80% of smokers today live in low- and middle-income countries; and, on the current trajectory, a billion people this century will die prematurely because of smoking.
The purpose of the Foundation for a Smoke-Free World is to improve global health by ending smoking in this generation, by 2050. This means not only eliminating the use of cigarettes and other forms of combustible tobacco (and, where prevalent, unrefined smokeless tobacco preparations), but also supporting vulnerable populations affected by this change, in particular smallholding tobacco farmers. Our theory of change for ending smoking is fundamentally one of ecosystem transformation: Smoking is widespread, engaging a large and complex ecosystem.
Our theory is rooted in the WHO Framework Convention for Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC), but goes further. We recognize that coordinated action on both demand and supply sides needs to happen. But we go beyond the FCTC by also seeking to engage industry to accelerate the shift away from cigarettes towards less harmful forms of nicotine. The ecosystem is capable of transforming today because of innovations in digital consumer technologies and in products that deliver nicotine without the harmful chemicals created by burning tobacco. We believe that the fastest way to end smoking is for all stakeholders to work together to transform the smoking ecosystem building on, and going beyond, the framework set out by FCTC.
Our Foundation’s role in this transformation will be to target opportunities where there are gaps in implementing FCTC and other elements of ecosystem-wide transformation. We will adhere to our robust guiding principles and draw from the factors that differentiate us from other philanthropies. Our strategic framework comprises three major areas of work across Health, Science and Technology; Agricultural Transformation; and Influencing Industry. We will also drive ecosystem-wide initiatives that cut across these three areas, for example on gender issues.
The context document accessed below serves as a companion to our strategic plan, and lays out in more detail the context for our work and the
determinants of our strategic framework.