Philip Morris International Funds Anti-Smoking Foundation

Philip Morris International Funds Anti-Smoking Foundation
Philip Morris creates anti-smoking fund with $1 billion allocation over 12 years, met with skepticism from experts.

In September 2017, one of the major tobacco companies, Philip Morris International (PMI), announced its bold move to allocate $1 billion to establish a foundation that aims to curb smoking. PMI pledged to provide an additional $80 million annually towards this initiative for the next 12 years.

At the time, many anti-smoking experts suspected that this move was simply to ensure the popularity and success of Philip Morris' reduced harm product, iQOS. On the other hand, Derek Yach, a well-known anti-tobacco activist who played a major role in the development of the 2005 World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), accepted the position of president of the foundation.

Inclusive approach

At the time, Yach assured his colleagues that he had not "gone to the dark side," adding that his relationship with PMI was based on opportunity rather than trust. "I'm not naive enough to believe that Philip Morris did this to achieve a warm fuzzy feeling about reducing the death rate. No, they wanted to have a lower-risk product and make a profit. That's the beginning and end of it.

Meanwhile, last year, Yach announced that he would be leaving the foundation, but he still believes that tobacco innovation is the way forward. Recently, Tobacco Reporter focused their entire issue on innovation and as part of this, they interviewed the former president of the Foundation for a Smoke-Free World.

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