February 7, 2018

Dean Barbara K. Rimer has added the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Gillings School of Global Public Health to 18 other schools of public health in a statement refusing funding from the Foundation for a Smoke-Free World.

The foundation’s stated mission is to reduce “illness and death from smoking.” Its website lists its priorities as supporting research on harm reduction and smoking cessation, identifying the right interventions, monitoring industry actions and preparing tobacco farmers for a future of reduced demand.

However, the foundation reportedly will receive $1 billion in funding from Philip Morris International, one of the world’s largest producers of tobacco products.

Rimer concluded, as did the other deans who co-signed the statement, that scientific best practices prohibit them from accepting or pursuing any funding from the foundation.

“The work of the Foundation is incompatible with our mission to improve public health, promote individual well-being and eliminate health inequities across North Carolina and around the world,” said Rimer. “As a School, we have a policy of not accepting funding from the tobacco industry, and I am committed to support that policy.”

The full statement can be found on the Bloomberg School of Public Health website.


Gillings School of Global Public Health contact: David Pesci, director of communications, (919) 962-2600 or dpesci@unc.edu

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