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Foundation for a Smoke-Free World and healthy Indigenous futures: an oxymoron?
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  • Published on:
    Foundation for a Smoke-Free World and healthy Indigenous futures: an oxymoron? An Evidence-Based Response
    • Raglan Maddox, Research Associate Well Living House, Centre for Urban Health Solutions, Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, St. Michael’s Hospital, Toronto, Ontario,
    • Other Contributors:
      • Summer May Finlay, Yorta Yorta. PhD Candidate
      • Jeff Reading, Tyendinega Mohawk First Nation, Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) Confederacy, Professor, Faculty of Health Sciences
      • Heather Gifford, Ngāti Hauiti
      • Andrew Waa, Ngāti Hine/Ngapuhi
      • Tom Calma, Elder from the Kungarakan tribal group and a member of the Iwaidja tribal group
      • Bridget Robson, Ngāti Raukawa
      • Sandra Eades, Noongar. Physician, researcher and professor
      • Jeffrey A. Henderson, Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe (Lakota). President & CEO. BHCAIH Board of Directors President,
      • Patricia Nez Henderson, Navajo Nation (Diné). Vice-President, Research Associate, Navajo Nation,
      • Janet Smylie, Métis. Physician, researcher and professor.

    Mr. Clive Bates’ response to our article, the Foundation for a Smoke-Free World and healthy Indigenous futures: an oxymoron?, indicates the need to clarify several issues. In this response, we emphasise two key issues:
    1. Organisations claiming to serve the good of the public, but who receive direct or third-party funding from the tobacco industry, are faced with serious conflicts of interest (COI); and
    2. harm reduction is only part of a comprehensive approach to reducing commercial tobacco use.

    As Indigenous peoples, we have an inherent responsibility to protect the health and wellbeing of Indigenous peoples now and for our future generations. The tobacco industry poses, and has posed in the past, a significant threat to our health and wellbeing. Therefore, we are deeply concerned about the Philip Morris-funded Foundation focusing on Indigenous peoples.

    Philip Morris International, the Philip Morris Funded-Foundation and the Centre for Research Excellence: Indigenous Sovereignty and Smoking
    Mr. Bates states that “There is no credible analysis (anywhere) of the actual, rather than the imagined, relationship between PMI and the Foundation for a Smokefree World”. This is incorrect 1-5. Researchers in journals such as The Lancet and Tobacco Control have analyzed key documents from the Foundation, including tax returns and bylaws that highlighted numerous relationship issues and conflicts of interest 1-5.


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    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.
  • Published on:
    A disappointing and baseless attack on a valuable initiative
    • Clive D Bates, Consultant and advocate Counterfactual Consulting Limited

    I hope that Tobacco Control will offer a right of reply to the target of this one-sided criticism. In the meantime, let me put a few points to the authors:

    1. There is no credible analysis (anywhere) of the actual, rather than the imagined, relationship between PMI and the Foundation for a Smokefree World (FSFW - ‘the Foundation’) that suggests PMI exerts material control over the Foundation. Its basic legal documents suggest otherwise. Nor have the authors explained why the Foundation's goal of ending smoking within a generation is somehow a bad thing or insincere.

    2. Nor is there a credible assessment of the relationship between the Foundation and the new Centre for Research Excellence: Indigenous Sovereignty and Smoking (the Centre) that is the subject of criticism in this paper. There are two degrees of separation between the Centre and PMI, and the philosophy of the Foundation is to support centres of excellence and to leave them to get on with their work. The Centre has an excellent (Māori) leader and is quite capable of asserting its independence. How it would somehow do the bidding of PMI is not explained by the authors.

    3. The authors dismiss the Centre’s focus on ‘harm reduction’ and instead emphasise: “the need to shift attention away from individuals to the true source of the problem: commercial tobacco and the companies that sell and promote it.”. While I share the sentiment about individual smoking cessat...

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    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.