In DepthResearch Funding

Tobacco giant's research largesse ignites controversy

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Science  09 Feb 2018:
Vol. 359, Issue 6376, pp. 622-623
DOI: 10.1126/science.359.6376.622

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Tobacco giant Philip Morris International (PMI) has pledged to donate almost $1 billion to the Foundation for a Smoke-Free World, launched in September 2017, which will spend most of its money on research on "harm reduction" strategies that help smokers switch to less dangerous alternatives such as e-cigarettes and heat-not-burn tobacco products. PMI is investing heavily in such products. The foundation hopes to award its first major grants within a few months, but many scientists and public health experts are squarely opposed to accepting money from big tobacco and have called for a boycott of the new foundation; the World Health Organization has called the foundation a "deeply alarming development."