In Australia, researchers recently refused to be financed by the Philip Morris foundation. And yet, the stated purpose of the “Foundation for a Smoke-Free World” (FSFW) is to promote the end of tobacco addiction and to improve health throughout the world …
David Thomas, researcher at the Menzies School Health Research, pointed out that the foundation, founded by the cigarette manufacturer, offered no real alternative to traditional cigarettes. The only motivation of the group is to promote the use of e-cigarettes, a completely commercial decision considering that Philip Morris is now investing in vaping devices. Following multiple rumors, the American company was prepared to point the finger at Juul Labs Inc, but according to David Thomas, a partnership with FSFW would only have one result: discredit tobacco research in Australia.
Philip Morris’ questionable foundation
The non-profit organization was created in 2017 with the ostensible goal of limiting the negative effects of tobacco throughout the world. In the long term, the foundation’s goal is to completely eradicate tobacco use. In order to function, every year the FSFW receives $80 million from Philip Morris. For many, the conflict of interest is blatant, and the Australian researchers no longer want to be associated with Big Tobacco’s money. Refusing this partnership further allows researchers to carry out impartial and independent studies.
In France, more and more large companies are offering money to research laboratories like INSERMS, CNRS, Pasteur … and their strategy is unfortunately not altruistic. Through these partnerships, large companies are hoping to influence the research and results of studies that are supposed to be independent.
Due to a decrease in the amount of grant money given to public researchers in recent years, research teams often accept much-needed money from questionable providers. Not surprisingly, it becomes very hard to remain objective about the effectiveness and safety of a product when the product’s manufacturer is the one funding the research!