Grants-offer spurned

    Seventeen public health schools in the US and Canada yesterday pledged to refuse research money from the New York-based Foundation for a Smoke-Free World (FSFW), according to a story by Collin Binkley for WHSV Online relayed by the TMA.
    Presumably they have pledged not to apply for such grants.
    FSFW was launched in September with a $1 billion grant from Philip Morris International.
    The foundation has yet to issue any funding but it has received proposals that are currently under review.
    “The idea of taking money that’s from the tobacco industry is just antithetical to everything we do,” said Karen Emmons, dean for academic affairs at Harvard’s public health school.
    A letter signed by the 17 college deans said both the tobacco industry and PMI had a long history of funding research in ways meant purposely to confuse the public and advance their own interests.
    The foundation has said it will pay for research that helps smokers quit, helps tobacco farmers find other livelihoods and develops reduced-risk alternatives to traditional cigarettes.
    Derek Yach, chief of the FSFW and a former executive of the World Health Organization (pictured), said that the foundation was “fully insulated” from industry influence.