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ALERT: Philip Morris International Front Group Contacting Researchers About COVID-19

ALERT: Philip Morris International Front Group Contacting Researchers About COVID-19

E-RCTC has been alerted that Philip Morris International’s Foundation for a Smoke-Free World (FSFW) is currently reaching out to researchers with an RFP seeking “significant collaboration” for research on the associations between COVID-19, smoking and nicotine use.

In the letter, FSFW claims to “remain committed to achieving our goal of ending smoking in this generation.” Yet, its sole funder, PMI, continues to manufacture and market cigarettes around the world. Learn more about FSFW’s status as a PMI front group.

We urge universities and research institutions not to take funding or engage with the tobacco industry or industry-funded organizations, including Foundation for a Smoke-Free World.

  • Industry-funded research often produces recommendations that favor the tobacco industry’s narrative and goals—an extremely worrying prospect for public health during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Contributing to industry-funded work damages researchers’ and their organizations’ credibility.
  • For some national universities, it is also a breach of the WHO’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, a treaty to which there are 182 Parties.

What you can do: If you or your institution are approached, E-RCTC urges you to reject this advance and report it. Please consider sharing this alert with colleagues in other research areas who may be less familiar with tobacco industry front groups, such as FSFW.

Tobacco Free Times

Conflict of Interest Declaration

E- Resource Centre for Tobacco Control, PGIMER Chandigarh

Tobacco is the gateway to the world of addiction. Each year millions of children in
India begin experimenting with tobacco use and become lifelong addicts. Global
evidence suggests that tobacco use is the leading cause of premature mortality. It
prevents individuals, families, communities and nations from achieving their fullest
potential and development goals. The tobacco industry is among the most corrupt
and venal in its practices. The WHO and many leading public health organizations
have warned that the tobacco industries would mislead governments and
communities to achieve its profits by advancing their addictive products.

To this end, E-Resource Centre for Tobacco Control (E-RCTC) believes in
promoting a healthy lifestyle for all by opposing tobacco use and addiction. RCTC
recognizes a fundamental conflict of interest between the tobacco industry and
public health. To achieve these goals in our lifetime would require us to stay away
from tobacco, alcohol and intoxicant substances in any form.

E-RCTC does not partner with any entity directly or indirectly related to and /or
engaged with the tobacco industry. We do not partner, invest in or get invest by
organizations with interests in the tobacco industry, or those who further the
agenda of tobacco companies. We do not and shall not accept and / or endorse any
direct or indirect support from the tobacco industry neither in cash and nor in
kind.