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

In July 2020, FSFW uploaded a set of documents to report on its progress on its Strategic Plan.3 These included an overview of the grants process, which clarified that grantees must publish funding statements acknowledging the Foundation;4 a mid-year report on operating expenses;5; updated lists of grantees in both Health, Science & Technology (HST) and Agriculture & Livelihoods (AgL) research streams;67; and a list of published, pre-print and future FSFW-funded reports and publications.8

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”.9 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.10

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.

FSFW Grantees

The following spreadsheet collates information from the FSFW 2018 tax return, 2019 tax return and July 2020 strategy update to provide a comprehensive list of grantees.12 

To view and download the spreadsheet, click .

New grants in 2020

As part of its Mid-Point Strategy Update, the Foundation released lists of grants current as of July 2020. Grants that appeared on this list but did not appear on the 2019 tax return are listed below, with the title of their grants.67 The names of new grantees (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.10

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.6 Grants classified as HST+ are indicated below in italics. 

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
  • Conrad Foundation: Conrad Challenge winners 2019
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Qbal (Quality Belligerence): Situation analysis and development of a comprehensive report on tobacco economics in Pakistan
  • 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: Horticulture value chain transformation project
  • 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]

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:4

“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.10 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 2020:10

  • 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 2020:10

  • 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 2020.11
  • 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
  • In September 2020, TCRG received confirmation that Telenor Health had returned its funding.16

Relevant Links

TobaccoTactics Resources

TCRG Research


  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. Foundation for a Smoke-Free World, Midpoint Strategic Plan Update, FSFW website, undated, accessed July 2020
  4. abFoundation for a Smoke-Free World, Grants Process Overview, FSFW website, undated, accessed July 2020
  5. Foundation for a Smoke-Free World, Mid-Year Report on Operating Expenses, FSFW website, July 2020, accessed July 2020
  6. abcFoundation for a Smoke-Free World, HST and Other Approved Grants, FSFW website, undated, accessed July 2020
  7. abFoundation for a Smoke-Free World, Agriculture & Livelihoods Approved Grants, FSFW website, undated, accessed July 2020
  8. Foundation for a Smoke-Free World, FSFW-sponsored publications that are publicly available, FSFW website, undated, accessed July 2020
  9. D. Yach, An Open Letter on the Foundation’s Independence and Governance, FSFW website, 9 January 2018, accessed February 2020
  10. abcdeFoundation for a Smoke-Free World, Awarded Grants, FSFW website, undated, accessed February 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 10:05
  16. PROGGA Knowledge for Progress, Email to University of Bath, 4 September 2020 15:02