HomeAboutNewsroom ▶ ATS President Clarifies the Society’s Position on the “Foundation for a Smoke-Free World“
ATS President Clarifies the Society’s Position on the “Foundation for a Smoke-Free World“

Last fall the ATS learned of the launch of an organization purported to become a major funder of research on smoking harm-reduction, alternatives, and the impact of reductions in tobacco use on agriculture and economics. This organization calls itself the Foundation for a Smoke-Free World, and presents itself as non-profit and independent. In reality, however, it has said that it will be funded by the tobacco company Philip Morris International to the extent of $80 million over 12 years.

The ATS regards this as highly ironic and offensive. There is extensive evidence, discovered in legal proceedings, showing that the tobacco industry, including Philip Morris International, has hidden its influence on numerous research studies. It also instigated the misrepresentation of scientific evidence to the medical community, including at ATS conferences, as well as policy makers and the public.  It promotes products that have caused disease, disorders, and addiction worldwide, including through purported alternatives to tobacco smoking.

The ATS is aware of other tobacco company efforts to fund foundations and hide this support. As a result, in 2010 the ATS Board of Directors added the following category to the definition of tobacco entities with which ATS involvement and participation in official ATS activities is prohibited: “any foundation for medical research or medical education that is primarily funded by one or more tobacco entities (with exception of foundations established for research and prevention of tobacco-caused disease as a result of court-supervised settlements with tobacco entities, and in which tobacco entities have no other involvement).”

All ATS members and others participating in official ATS activities should take note of this policy, which ATS will apply to "Foundation for a Smoke Free World." Researchers and others are strongly discouraged from having any involvement with this organization.

ATS President Marc Moss, MD