Press Releases

2002 Releases

Harvard School of Public Health Faculty Votes Not to Accept Funds from Tobacco Companies and Subsidiaries

For immediate release:  January 25, 2002

Boston, MA–Faculty members at the Harvard School of Public Health voted last night not to accept research funding from tobacco manufacturers and their subsidiaries. Because of an incompatibility with the public health mission, such funds had not been accepted at the School as a general practice for a number of years. The vote puts current practice into official policy and is consistent with Harvard University’s 13-year-old policy of not holding stock in tobacco companies.

Smoking is recognized by public health researchers as the largest preventable cause of disease and death in the U.S. Tobacco use leads to increased risk of many chronic diseases including coronary heart disease and cancer. The American Heart Association estimates that 430,700 deaths annually in the U.S. are due to smoking.

"I believe the decision by the faculty represents a powerful statement from public health professionals that we all must focus on efforts to prevent the addiction and terrible consequences of tobacco," said HSPH Dean Barry R. Bloom.

The decision that "The School of Public Health will not accept any grant or anything else of value from any tobacco manufacturer, distributor, or other tobacco-related company" meets general policy recently agreed to by the deans of the 31-member Association of Schools of Public Health (ASPH) in order to be able to distribute research funds from the American Legacy Foundation. This public health foundation was established by the tobacco industry’s 1998 settlement of lawsuits brought by a coalition of attorneys general in 46 states and 5 U.S. territories.

See also: List of Tobacco Manufacturers and Subsidiaries

For further information, please contact:

Robin Herman
Office of Communications
Harvard School of Public Health
677 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02115
Phone: 617-432-4752
Email: rherman@hsph.harvard.edu