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

STOP 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, STOP 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.