Name Change Doesn’t Change the… | Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
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Name Change Doesn’t Change the Facts: Philip Morris-Funded Group Is Promoting Big Tobacco’s Agenda

Statement of Yolonda C. Richardson, President and CEO, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
May 14, 2024

WASHINGTON, D.C. – No one should be fooled by Monday’s announcement that the Philip Morris International-funded Foundation for a Smoke-Free World is changing its name to Global Action to End Smoking. No name change or PR spin can change the fact that this entity was created and is solely funded by Philip Morris and its work remains fully aligned with Philip Morris’ interests. The foundation has received hundreds of millions of dollars from the tobacco giant, including a final payment of $140 million in late 2023. And since its inception, Philip Morris has been the foundation’s only funding source.

Tobacco companies, including Philip Morris International, have a long history of deception, and their deception continues today. The reality is that, while claiming to be concerned about health, Philip Morris International continues to aggressively market cigarettes around the world, fights real efforts to reduce smoking, evades regulatory oversight and continues to introduce new products that will addict future generations for the sake of profit. Tobacco companies don’t give $140 million out of the goodness of their hearts. They do so to further their business interest, which is to maximize profits and sell more of their addictive and harmful products.

Philip Morris’ creation of its foundation, and now its name change, follow the same old playbook as they have in the past. They create and hide behind front groups, co-opt reputable public health officials, and manipulate science, all with the goal of deceiving the public and advancing their business interests at the expense of public health. This history shows that research funded by tobacco companies and their front groups lacks credibility and research findings are manipulated by the tobacco industry to mislead the public and policy makers about the health risks of tobacco products.

Recognizing this, the world’s most prominent schools of public health and other public health leaders have refused to work with the foundation. They recognize it is part of Philip Morris’s strategy to fight effective policies to reduce tobacco use and sell more harmful and addictive tobacco products. Responsible individuals, organizations and governments should not associate with this Philip Morris-funded entity and its efforts to advance the tobacco industry’s agenda.