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 2018 and 2019 tax returns.12 The tax returns include schedules of organisations which have received money from the charity, broken up into three parts: an “Expenditure Responsibility Statement” (Part VII-B, Line 5C), a list of “Grants and Contributions Paid During the Year” (Part XV) and “Contributions Approved for Future Payment” (also Part XV). 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”.3 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.4 However, the list of grantees on the FSFW website is incomplete: some of the grantees listed on the FSFW 2019 tax return are not included on the “Awarded Grants” section of the FSFW website (see below).

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

Problem of transparency around the Foundation grantees

Both the 2018 and the 2019 tax returns from the Foundation show several discrepancies with the ´Awarded grants´section of the Foundation´s website. Below is a list of grantees named on the Foundation’s website that do not appear in its 2018 tax return. Grantees are organised by which of the Foundation’s three “core pillars” funding was awarded through. The “Presidential Grants” category appears to be a fourth classification of grant unexplained by the Foundation’s website.4

Agriculture and Livelihoods

  • Rotary Club of Lilongwe (Lilongwe, Malawi): Lilongwe University of Agriculture & Natural Resources (LUANAR) scholarship program
  • The Institute of International Education, Inc (USA): Malawi fellowship and scholarship fund
  • Farmers Union of Malawi (Malawi): Rebuilding farmers’ livelihoods through agricultural recovery
  • Strategic Impact Advisors (Malawi): Digital financial services for smallholder farmers
  • Palladium Group Global (Malawi): Investment support facility promoting inclusive business investments in the agricultural sector
  • LTS International Limited (UK): Research support for agricultural transformation
  • Causal Design (USA): Research support for agricultural transformation

Health, Science and Technology

  • Agenome, LLC (India): Cancer risk in Smoking Subjects Assessed by Next Generation Sequencing
  • Behavioural Diagnostics, LLC (USA): A novel saliva kit for detecting and quantifying use of nicotine products
  • Rose Research Center, LLC (USA): Translational research center to promote a smoke-free world
  • Ethiem Biotics, LLC (USA): Restoring the human microbiome in former smokers

Industry Transformation

  • Feng Insight (China): China policy landscape and strategic review
  • Euromonitor International Inc (Global): Tobacco Transformation Index
  • SustainAbility Inc. (Global): Tobacco Transformation Index, Presidential Grants
  • The Influence Foundation (Filter) (USA): Enhancing public awareness of the current nicotine landscape
  • Yale University (Global South): Tobacco cessation and harm reduction in the Global South

Similarly, the following grantees are included in the FSFW 2019 tax return but are not disclosed on the FSFW website as grantees or mentioned in any other section:24

  • Asia Management Private Limited
  • Centre for Health Research and Education Limited
  • Telenor Health ASA
  • Global Knowledge Initiative
  • Org Architecture

Furthermore, the following grantees are also not disclosed on the FSFW “Grantees” webpage but appear mentioned at other locations within the FSFW website.

  • C. Nielsen Amer (Shj. Br.): “The ‘COVID-19 State of Smoking Poll’ was conducted online by the Nielsen Company for the Foundation for a Smoke-Free World”5
  • BOTEC Analysis6
  • Embera Neuro Therapeutics6
  • Medical University of South Carolina Foundation7
  • Ernst and Young, Switzerland6
  • Thanthwe Holdings Limited89

FSFW Grantees

The following spreadsheet collates information from the FSFW 2018 and 2019 tax returns to provide a comprehensive list of grantees.12 The columns “Grant value”, “Paid” and “Contributions approved for future payment” correspond to the three schedules of payments detailed in US charitable tax returns (see above).

To view and download the spreadsheet, click here.

Notes on grantees

  • The Influence Foundation, which owns and operates Filter magazine, has received funding directly from PMI in 2018, 2019 and 2020.10
  • Law Enforcement Action Partnership is a fiscal sponsor of the Influence Foundation, which in turn is a sponsor of Filter magazine, a previous FSFW grantee.10
  • Jed Rose, President and CEO of Rose Research Center has received funding from Philip Morris.11 Rose is also on the Science Advisory Board of Embera Neurotherapeutics, Inc., another FSFW grantee.12
  • In July 2019, it was revealed that BRAC was returning this funding.13
  • The University of Cape Town has put a policy in place to not accept further tobacco industry or FSFW funding.14

TobaccoTactics Resources

TCRG Research Blog

Relevant Links


  1. abFoundation for a Smoke-Free World, Form 990-PF, 2018 Tax Return, 13 May 2019, accessed May 2019
  2. abcFoundation for a Smoke-Free World, Form 990-PF, 2019 Tax Return, 15 May 2020, accessed May 2020
  3. D. Yach, An Open Letter on the Foundation’s Independence and Governance, FSFW website, 9 January 2018, accessed February 2020
  4. abcFoundation for a Smoke-Free World, Awarded Grants, FSFW website, undated, accessed February 2020
  5. Editor, COVID-19 State of Smoking Poll, FSFW report, 10 May 2020, accessed May 2020
  6. abcFoundation for a Smoke-Free World, Ongoing Research Projects, undated, accessed May 2020
  7. Parthenon, Smoking Cessation Products and Services: Global Landscape Analysis, FSFW website, August 2018, accessed May 2020
  8. M. Benn, Meet the 2018 Youth Agri-Preneur Pitch Competition Winners, FSFW blog post, 25 February 2019, accessed May 2020
  9. J. Lutzweiler, At Borlaug Dialogue, Panelists Discuss Innovative Approaches to Agricultural Transformation, FSFW blog post, 4 November 2019, accessed May 2020
  10. abAbout the Influence Foundation, Filter magazine website, undated, accessed May 2020
  11. Dr Jed Rose Biography, Rose Research Center website, undated, accessed May 2020
  12. Science Advisory Board, Embera NeuroTherapeutics, Inc. website, undated, accessed May 2020
  13. Brac praised for returning fund from multinational tobacco company, Dhaka Tribune, 1 August 2019, accessed May 2020
  14. University of Cape Town Research Contracts office, Email to University of Bath, 11 October 2019 10:054