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Tobacco control funding for low-income and middle-income countries in a time of economic hardship
  1. Michal Stoklosa,
  2. Hana Ross
  1. Economic and Health Policy Research, American Cancer Society, Atlanta, Georgia, USA
  1. Correspondence to Michal Stoklosa, Economic and Health Policy Research, American Cancer Society, 250 Williams Street, Atlanta, GA 30303, USA; michal.stoklosa{at}


Objective To assess how levels of tobacco control funding for low-income and middle-income countries (LMIC) changed following the 2008–2009 global economic downturn.

Methods In order to estimate the amount of tobacco control funding in LMICs, we created an integrated database of Development Assistance to Control Tobacco (DACT). This database includes data on funding from bilateral and multilateral donors, non-governmental organisations, private foundations and the corporate sector. The database contains information on 1389 disbursements awarded by 30 entities between 2000 and 2012.

Results DACT declined only marginally from US$68.8 million (US$0.016 per adult) in 2009 to US$68.2 million (US$0.016 per adult) in 2011, but deviated significantly from its 2000 to 2009 trend. The sources of funding remain highly concentrated, with nearly a half of the money coming from the Bloomberg Initiative and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in 2011. The relative importance of institutional and research grants has declined.

Conclusions Our findings are consistent with the patterns in general levels of development assistance for health: after a decade of rapid growth, funding for tobacco control activities in LMICs has levelled off. Just as the tobacco control community is beginning to envision the endgame for tobacco, the funding remains erratic, inadequate, and highly vulnerable due to its level of concentration. Innovative financing mechanisms might help to increase the funding pool.

  • funding
  • development assistance
  • aid
  • crisis

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