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).

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

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

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.

New grantees in 2020

As part of its Mid-Point Strategy Update, the Foundation released lists of grants current as of July 2020. Grantees that appeared on this list but did not appear on the 2019 tax return,  are listed below, with the title of their grants.89

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
  • Asociación Argentina de Servicios y Estudios Médicos de Avanzada: COP9 – Increasing Awareness
  • 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
  • FP Group: Sponsorship of Her Power Summit
  • 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

Agriculture & Livelihoods (AgL)

  • 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]

New grants in 2020 to existing grantees

Also included are new grants made to existing grantees that did not appear on the 2019 tax return filed in May 2020.89

Health, Science & Technology (HST)

  • Alternative Research Institute: COP9 – Increasing Awareness
  • Child Sight Foundation: Economics of cessation and THR in South Asia: A Scoping Study and Situation Analysis
  • Centre for Health Research and Education (CHRE): Evaluating the feasibility and establishment of a multi-center network for tobacco research and cessation in India
  • Conrad Foundation: Conrad Challenge winners 2019
  • Cornell University: Economic Analysis of Harm Reduction, Hyperbolic Discounting, and Menthol
  • Euromonitor International: EU Menthol Ban Impact Analysis
  • International Network of Nicotine Consumer Organisations (INNCO)
    • January 2020: COP9 and NCDs
    • May 2020: Strengthen and build capacity for Tobacco Harm Reduction as a tool to reduce incidence of smoking.
  • Just Managing Consulting: Public Health and Government Investment in Tobacco – Phase II
  • Qbal (Quality Belligerence): Situation analysis and development of a comprehensive report on tobacco economics in Pakistan

Agriculture & Livelihoods (AgL)

  • Causal Design: Advisory service work stream to support programming and implementation along the ATI theory of change
  • LTS International Limited
    • June 2020: Working Paper Series – How can Gender inequalities in the Tobacco Value Chain inform interventions towards inclusive livelihood diversification
    • June 2020: Advisory Service for M&E and Programming
  • Palladium Group Global: Bamboo As A Solution

Problem of transparency around the Foundation grantees

FSFW grantees do not always abide by the Foundation’s own policy of disclosing Foundation funding in publications, reports and news media. The statement in the Grants Process Overview document, published by FSFW in July 2020, reads:

“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.’”

Tobacco Tactics 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 appears to be a fourth classification of grant unexplained by the Foundation’s website.4

The following grantees were listed on the FSFW website as of May 2020, but did not appear in its 2019 tax return:4

  • Just Managing Consulting (USA; Presidential Grant): Public Health and Government Investment in Tobacco
  • Cornell University (USA; Presidential Grant): Economic study of risk perceptions and consumer demand for harm reduction products
  • Healthy Initiatives (USA; Presidential Grant): Economics of Ending Smoking Epidemic
  • American Masala (USA; Presidential Grant): 51 Shades of Smokey Grey
  • The Economic Policy Research Foundation of Turkey (TEPAV; Turkey; Presidential Grant): Economic analysis of tobacco, tobacco products and alternatives in Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus
  • Biochromex (USA; Industry Transformation): Nicotine product relative risk assessment

Notes on grantees

  • The Influence Foundation, which owns and operates Filter magazine, has received funding directly from PMI in 2018, 2019 and 2020.11
  • 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.11
  • Jed Rose, President and CEO of Rose Research Center has received funding from Philip Morris.12 Rose is also on the Science Advisory Board of Embera Neurotherapeutics, Inc., another FSFW grantee.13
  • In July 2019, it was revealed that BRAC was returning this funding.14
  • The University of Cape Town has put a policy in place to not accept further tobacco industry or FSFW funding.15

TobaccoTactics Resources

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Relevant Links


  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. 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. Foundation for a Smoke-Free World, Midpoint Strategic Plan Update, FSFW website, undated, accessed July 2020
  6. Foundation 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. abcFoundation 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. abAbout the Influence Foundation, Filter magazine website, undated, accessed May 2020
  12. Dr Jed Rose Biography, Rose Research Center website, undated, accessed May 2020
  13. Science Advisory Board, Embera NeuroTherapeutics, Inc. website, undated, accessed May 2020
  14. Brac praised for returning fund from multinational tobacco company, Dhaka Tribune, 1 August 2019, accessed May 2020
  15. University of Cape Town Research Contracts office, Email to University of Bath, 11 October 2019 10:054