The decision by cigarette manufacturer, Philip Morris International to finance an anti-smoking foundation which claims to look at ways of reducing the harm from smoking has been rebuffed by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
The Foundation for a Smoke-Free World, an “independent” research funding body fully funded by Philip Morris, was launched on September 13, 2017.
Rejecting the proposed fund on Thursday, September 26, 2017, WHO said there is a conflict of interest in a tobacco firm funding such research, as there were already proven techniques to tackle smoking — including tobacco taxes, graphic warning labels and advertising bans — which the tobacco industry had opposed in the past.
WHO, therefore, insisted on not partnering with the Foundation and, they also urged Governments and the public health community not to partner with the Foundation.
The foundation’s founder and president-designate, Derek Yach in his words expressed disappointment at WHO’s complete mischaracterisation of the nature, structure and intent of the Foundation in its recent statements – and especially by its admonition to others not to work together.