Foundation for a Smoke-Free World Grantees

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The Foundation for a Smoke-Free World (FSFW) released information on who it had given grants to as part of its annual tax returns.1234

In July 2020, FSFW uploaded a set of documents to report on its progress on its Strategic Plan.5 These included an overview of the grants process, which clarified that grantees must publish funding statements acknowledging the Foundation;6 a mid-year report on operating expenses;7; updated lists of grantees in both Health, Science & Technology (HST) and Agriculture & Livelihoods (AgL) research streams;89; and a list of published, pre-print and future FSFW-funded reports and publications.10

The Foundation has stated that it will be transparent about who and what it funds: “the Foundation provides…summaries of all grants and programs on its website”.11 However, until it published its 2018 tax return in May 2019, there was very little information publicly available on the Foundation’s website about whom it was funding, and for what. It now includes a list of grants awarded on its website, although it does not disclose the full amounts of grants awarded.12

However, the list of grantees on the FSFW website is incomplete: some of the grantees listed on the FSFW 2019 tax return and 2020 strategy update were not included on the “Awarded Grants” section of the FSFW website (see below) before their release, and some organisations who had previously received grants have been removed from the website.

For the most up-to-date information that the Foundation gives on its grantees, see its website.

Visit the Foundation for a Smoke-Free World: Research Database to find out more about its research outputs

FSFW Grantees

The following spreadsheet collates information from the FSFW tax returns from 2018 to 2021, plus the 2020 strategy update, to provide a comprehensive list of grantees.1234

To view and download the spreadsheet, click .

Grantees for 2021

In May 2022, the Foundation released its 2021 tax return, which listed grants awarded in 2021.4 Grants that appeared in the 2021 tax return, but did not appear in the 2020 tax return are listed below, with the title of their grants. Some organisations appear for the first time in the 2021 tax return, meaning they had never received FSFW grants before.

Out of all the new grants paid in 2021, nearly all fell under the FSFW category of “Health and Science Research”, with only 4 out of 17 falling other categories: a new grant for Euromonitor International, categorised under “Industry Transformation”, and two grants to Malawi (Opportunity International and the Rotary Club of Lilongwe), categorised under “Agriculture and Livelihoods”. A grant for Pakistani organisation QBAL SMC PVT LTD seemed to also be categorised as “Agriculture and Livelihoods”, despite the aim of the grant being research into tax policies and newer nicotine and tobacco products.13

New grants for existing grantees

  • BOTEC Analysis, LLC: Further develop the drivers of smoking cessation in five countries with legalized alternative nicotine delivery systems (ANDS) through a series of additional journal articles, econometric studies, and a full-length book on optimal nicotine regulation and Conduct an investigation and analysis and develop recommendations regarding the (i) literature addressing the relationship between COVID-19 and tobacco and nicotine products; (ii) the impact of various tobacco/nicotine-related COVID restrictions around the world on smoking and alternative nicotine delivery system (ANDS) use.
  • Cambridge Design Partnership Ltd: Disseminate findings of scoping work related to key impediments to mass adoption of RRPs in low- and middleincome countries
  • Cornell University: Develop empirical evidence to help provide education around public policies to end smoking in this generation.
  • ECLAT srl: Bridge the gaps and build accountability in media communications around tobacco harm reduction science and Establishment of a Center of Excellence for the Acceleration of Harm Reduction.
  • Economic Policy Research Foundation of Turkey, The (TEPAV): Research and disseminate findings relating to the policies and economics around ending smoking in Turkey.
  • Euromonitor International Inc: Conduct the Tobacco Marketing Study in support of the Tobacco Transformation Index to establish a framework for tobacco companies’ marketing practices to support transition away from High-Risk Products while preventing uptake of Reduced-Risk Product alternatives by non-smokers and youth.
  • QBAL SMC PVT LTD: Provide and disseminate a comprehensive research study on tax and health policies in Pakistan, focusing on health benefits, and optimal tax policies for noncombustible nicotine products to help smokers quit and stem the sales of illicit harm reduction products.
  • Rose Research Center, LLC: Examine the acceptability and outcome of a harm reduction approach to tobacco use for individuals with serious behavioral health disorders and determine the association with decrease in smoking.
  • Yale University: Conduct cohort study and perform real-world data analysis to inform development of online interventions aimed at stimulating engagement for smokers unable to quit; Conduct research on misinformation on social media on tobacco harm reduction and COVID-19 and interventions to correct misinformation about tobacco harm reduction and Explore the relationship between COVID-19 and discourses around tobacco products, including ecigarettes, acknowledging that information about tobacco use (and harm reduction products) during the pandemic comes from varying sources.

New grantees

  • ASCRA Consulting Inc.: Conduct and disseminate research focused on policies around cessation and tobacco harm reduction in the Philippines. Develop a network of stakeholders including tobacco harm reduction advocates, medical professionals, and others.
  • Foundation for Professional Development: Research to determine the effects of tobacco use and smoking on long-term recovery from mild COVID-19 in South Africa. Disseminate results, including by publishing a manuscript(s) in a peer-reviewed scientific journal(s).
  • M Group, Inc.: Conduct an analysis of tobacco excise policy and opportunities for risk-proportionate reform in Indonesia
  • Movimiento Pro Vecino: Promote multi-sectoral engagement and awareness in Mexico, and Latin American region.
  • Opportunity International, Inc.: Develop innovative financial products to help foster agricultural transformation in Malawi.
  • Rotary Club of Lilongwe: Sponsor the travel of Malawian graduate students to study at Tel Aviv University’s Nitsin Lab so they may gain skills and education around smallholder innovation and return to Malawi and contribute to agricultural diversification.
  • SERMO INC: Conduct global survey of physicians to develop actionable insights to drive smoking cessation and harm reduction success worldwide.
  • Synergeia Foundation, Inc: Assess results of the tobacco cessation program of government in Philippines relative to its objectives and conduct an exploratory study of the market and policy environment for non-tobacco products.

Grantees for 2020

In May 2021 the Foundation released its 2020 Tax return, which listed grants as of May 2021.3Some of these grants had previously been listed in a Mid-Point Strategy Update the Foundation released in July 2020. Grants that appeared in the 2020 Tax Return but did not appear on the 2019 tax return are listed below, with the title of their grants.89 The names of new grantees for 2020 (i.e. organisations that have not previously received a grant from FSFW) are in bold.

The Foundation appears to have created a new category to encompass all of its “Health, Science and Technology” (HST) grants on its website: “Health, Science and Technology (Research, Education, and Awareness)” and eliminated the previous “Presidential Grants” category.12

In its 2020 Midpoint Strategic update, FSFW further divides the HST category into HST and HST+: those grants under HST+ include advocacy and non-scientific research.8

The 2020 Tax Return featured several grants awarded to charitable organisations and for humanitarian purposes. Some of these are linked to COVID-19 relief funds and may represent a new Corporate Social Responsibility strategy.

Health, Science & Technology (HST)

  • AF Development Care LLP: Alternative livelihood Options for Women Bidi Rollers- Primary Research and Policy Mapping of home-based Women bidi rollers of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka
  • Alternative Research Institute: COP9 – Increasing Awareness
  • American Masala: 51 Shades of Smokey Grey
  • Asociación Argentina de Servicios y Estudios Médicos de Avanzada: COP9 – Increasing Awareness
  • Biochromex: Nicotine product relative risk assessment
  • Centre for Health Research and Education: Evaluating the feasibility and establishment of a multi-center network for tobacco research and cessation in India
  • Child Sight Foundation: Economics of cessation and THR in South Asia: A Scoping Study and Situation Analysis
  • COHRED USA – Council on Health Research for Development: Strengthening national research system capacity in Low- and Middle-Income countries in support of tobacco control, health, equity and development. Brief Title: NRS for FCTC20-21-22
  • Child Sight Foundation: Review of progress in tobacco control in five countries in Southeast Asia including identification of gaps in policy relevant research
  • Conrad Foundation: Conrad Challenge winners 2019 and 2020
  • Cornell University: Economic Analysis of Harm Reduction, Hyperbolic Discounting, and Menthol
  • Cornell University: An Economic Study of Risk Perceptions and Consumer Demand for Harm Reduction Products
  • Economic Policy Research Foundation of Turkey (TEPAV): Economic analysis of tobacco, tobacco products, and their alternatives in Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus
  • Ernst & Young AG: Synthesize and formulate lessons learned from countries with ANDS availability which have seen drastic drops in number of smokers. A separate project: Identification of observable smoker characteristics that are linked to cessation success
  • Etheim Biotics, LLC: Multi-regional study to examine the impact of smoking and vaping on the human microbiome
  • Euromonitor International Inc: EU Menthol Ban Impact Analysis
  • FP Group: Sponsorship of Her Power Summit
  • Healthy Initiatives: Economics of ending smoking epidemic by evaluating the status and the gaps in existing TC policies in Ukraine, the Russian Federation and number of developing Former Soviet countries in East and Central Asia (ECA) region
  • Institute for Human Development: Study legal protections impacting Beedi workers in India
  • International Network of Nicotine Consumer Organisations: Strengthen and build capacity for Tobacco Harm Reduction as a tool to reduce incidence of smoking
  • International Network of Nicotine Consumer Organisations: COP9 and NCDs
  • Just Managing Consulting: Public Health and Government Investment in Tobacco – Phase 1
  • Just Managing Consulting: Public Health and Government Investment in Tobacco – Phase II
  • The Lung Foundation (established by Oncimmune Plc): Investigate the nexus of COVID-19 and nicotine use.
  • Oncimmune Ltd: Characterization of COVID-19 outcomes in a high-risk cohort: Assessment of background levels of autoantibodies in an at risk population of smokers as a prognostic marker for severe COVID-19 infection.
  • Oncimmune Plc: Establishment of a trust (the “Lung Trust”) suitable for e the application, receipt, and administration of future grant awards
  • Patras Science Park: Scoping work for development of an Institute for Research and Innovation on THR
  • Qbal (Quality Belligerence): Situation analysis and development of a comprehensive report on tobacco economics in Pakistan
  • Sustainability Inc: Tobacco Transformation Index stakeholder engagement, development and facilitation of Advisory Panel, and post-publication project review
  • Yale University: Support Yale University to work with Signals Analytics as Signal Adapts a platform already in use for FSFW to help in humanitarian efforts around COVID-19
  • Yayasan Pena Bulu: Build capacity to share stories that present facts about THR and nicotine use to all stakeholders

Agriculture & Livelihoods (AgL)

  • Causal Design: Advisory service work stream to support programming and implementation along the ATI theory of change
  • LTS International Limited: Advisory Service for M&E and Programming
  • LTS International Limited: Working Paper Series – How can Gender inequalities in the Tobacco Value Chain inform interventions towards inclusive livelihood diversification
  • Thanthwe Holdings Limited: Contribute to the expansion of protected cultivation in Malawi and neighboring countries.
  • Palladium Group Global: Bamboo as A Solution
  • University of Illinois: Feed the Future Soybean Innovation Lab for Value Chain Development [PENDING]
  • University of Minnesota: Data Revolution for Agricultural Markets (DRAM) Validation Exercise [PENDING]

Charitable Donations

In May 2021, the FSFW’s tax return revealed a number of organisations which had received grants for charitable and humanitarian purposes.3 In some cases these were connected to COVID-19 but in other cases the purpose was obscure.

  • Caritas Italiana: Grant for charitable, humanitarian purposes. Grant went on to fund COVID-19 relief in Sicily.14
  • Hartford Foundation for Public Giving: US$500,000 grant for charitable, humanitarian purposes to this American organisation
  • International Rescue Committee: US$500,000 grant for charitable, humanitarian purposes to this American organisation
  • Lega Italiana Anti Fumo (LIAF): Grant for charitable, humanitarian purposes. No further information available about outcomes of this grant. The Chief Scientific Advisor (previously President) of LIAF is Riccardo Polosa.
  • Merkos L’Inyonei Chinuch: A US$100,000 grant for charitable, humanitarian purposes was made to this Jewish educational charity based in Italy.
  • National Smallholders Farmers Association of Malawi (NASFAM): Grants for charitable, humanitarian purposes. No further information available about outcomes of this grant. Current FSFW board member, Dyborn Chibonga, served as CEO of NASFAM for 18 years.15
  • Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations (PM CARES): US$18,000 grant for charitable, humanitarian purposes to this Indian charitable trust chaired by the Prime Minister to alleviate the impact of COVID-19
  • Zodiac Broadcasting Station Limited: This Malawi based media organisation received US$42,842 in 2020 for charitable and humanitarian purposes.

Problem of transparency around the Foundation grantees

FSFW grantees do not always disclose Foundation funding in publications, reports and news media. The statement in the Grants Process Overview document, published by FSFW in July 2020, reads:6

“Grantee shall take all necessary measures to publicize this Grant and disclose that FSFW is the source of the Grant in any resulting publications and shall acknowledge the Grant in its internal and annual reports, and in any exchanges with the media. Any publication relating or referring to FSFW, in whatever form or by whatever means or medium, including internet, must include the following statement: ‘Produced with the help of a grant from the Foundation for a Smoke- Free World, Inc. The contents, selection and presentation of facts, as well as any opinions expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the authors and under no circumstances shall be regarded as reflecting the positions of the Foundation for a Smoke-Free World, Inc.’”

TobaccoTactics has identified several occasions on which grantees have failed to consistently and openly disclose their FSFW funding. For examples, see our page on Riccardo Polosa and the Centre for Health Research and Education (CHRE).

Both the 2018 and the 2019 tax returns from the Foundation showed several discrepancies with the “Awarded Grants” section of the Foundation´s website. Included on the spreadsheet of FSFW grantees is a column that notes discrepancies between the publication of grantee names and purposes on the FSFW grantee webpage and its tax returns. On the “Awarded Grants” page, grantees are organised by which of the Foundation’s three “core pillars” funding was awarded through. The “Presidential Grants” category appeared to be a fourth classification of grant unexplained by the Foundation’s website.12 It was then eliminating and the new HST category introduced (see above).

The following are new grantees were included on the strategic update, but do not appear on the FSFW website as of August 2020:12

  • AF Development Care LLP
  • FP Group
  • Oncimmune Ltd
  • Oncimmune Plc
  • Yayasan Pena Bulu

The following grantees have received grants from FSFW, as documented by its tax returns, but do not appear on the FSFW website as of August 2020:12

  • BRAC: This grantee returned its FSFW funding (see below).
  • Clinivantage Healthcare Technologies
  • Medical University of South Carolina Foundation
  • N. Srivastava Foundation for Scientific Education & Research
  • Telenor Health ASA: This grantee returned its FSFW funding (see below).
  • University of California San Francisco
  • University of Cape Town: UCT has put in place a policy not to accept tobacco industry funding (see below). 

Notes on grantees

  • The Influence Foundation, which owns and operates Filter magazine, has received funding directly from PMI in 2018, 2019 and 2020.16
  • Law Enforcement Action Partnership, a fiscal sponsor of the Influence Foundation, which in turn is a sponsor of Filter magazine, has received FSFW grants.16. By September 2020 it had spent all its US$2220,000 grant to “share stories” about harm reduction.17
  • Jed Rose, President and CEO of Rose Research Center has received funding from Philip Morris.18 Rose is also on the Science Advisory Board of Embera Neurotherapeutics, Inc., another FSFW grantee.19
  • In July 2019, it was revealed that BRAC was returning this funding.20
  • The University of Cape Town has put a policy in place to not accept further tobacco industry or FSFW funding.21
  • In September 2020, TCRG received confirmation that Telenor Health had returned its funding.22

Relevant Links

TobaccoTactics Resources

TCRG Research

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  1. abFoundation for a Smoke-Free World, Form 990-PF, 2018 Tax Return, 13 May 2019, accessed May 2019
  2. abFoundation for a Smoke-Free World, Form 990-PF, 2019 Tax Return, 15 May 2020, accessed May 2020
  3. abcdFoundation for a Smoke-Free World, Form 990-PF, 2020 Tax Return, 17 May 2021, accessed May 2021
  4. abcFoundation for a Smoke-Free World, Form 990-PF, 2021 Tax Return, 16 May 2022, accessed May 2021
  5. Foundation for a Smoke-Free World, Midpoint Strategic Plan Update, FSFW website, undated, accessed July 2020
  6. abFoundation for a Smoke-Free World, Grants Process Overview, FSFW website, undated, accessed July 2020
  7. Foundation for a Smoke-Free World, Mid-Year Report on Operating Expenses, FSFW website, July 2020, accessed July 2020
  8. abcFoundation for a Smoke-Free World, HST and Other Approved Grants, FSFW website, undated, accessed July 2020
  9. abFoundation for a Smoke-Free World, Agriculture & Livelihoods Approved Grants, FSFW website, undated, accessed July 2020
  10. Foundation for a Smoke-Free World, FSFW-sponsored publications that are publicly available, FSFW website, undated, accessed July 2020
  11. D. Yach, An Open Letter on the Foundation’s Independence and Governance, FSFW website, 9 January 2018, accessed February 2020
  12. abcdeFoundation for a Smoke-Free World, Awarded Grants, FSFW website, archived August 2020, accessed May 2022
  13. Foundation for a Smoke-Free World, Awarded Grants, FSFW website, archived May 2022, accessed May 2022
  14. Archdiocese of Palermo, ARCHDIOCESENEWS 18 SEPTEMBER 2020, Diocesan Office for Social Communications Press Office, September 2020, accessed May 2021
  15. Foundation for a Smoke-Free World, Board of Directors, undated, accessed August 2020
  16. abAbout the Influence Foundation, Filter magazine website, undated, accessed May 2020
  17. Foundation for a Smoke-Free World, Form 990-PF, 2020 Tax Return, 17 May 2021, accessed May 2021
  18. Dr Jed Rose Biography, Rose Research Center website, undated, accessed May 2020
  19. Science Advisory Board, Embera NeuroTherapeutics, Inc. website, undated, accessed May 2020
  20. Brac praised for returning fund from multinational tobacco company, Dhaka Tribune, 1 August 2019, accessed May 2020
  21. University of Cape Town Research Contracts office, Email to University of Bath, 11 October 2019 10:05
  22. PROGGA Knowledge for Progress, Email to University of Bath, 4 September 2020 15:02
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