Harvard School of Public Health refuses tobacco funds
Last month, faculty members at the Harvard School of Public Health decided that it would "not accept any grant or anything else of value from any tobacco manufacturer, distributor, or other tobacco related company."
The vote not to accept research funding from tobacco manufacturers and their subsidiaries, puts current practice into official policy and is consistent with Harvard Universityâ€™s 13 year old policy of not holding stock in tobacco companies.
"I believe the decision by the faculty represents a powerful statement from public health professionals that we must all focus on efforts to prevent the addiction and terrible consequences of tobacco," said Barry Bloom, dean of the Harvard School.
The decision meets general policy that was recently agreed to by the deans of the 31 member Association of Schools of Public Health so that it could distribute research funds from the American Legacy Foundation. This public health foundation was established by the tobacco industryâ€™s 1998 settlement of lawsuits brought by a coalition of attorneys general in 46 states and five US territories.
The Harvard School of Public Health comprises more than 300 faculty members engaged in teaching and training more than 800 students in a broad spectrum of disciplines crucial to the health and wellbeing of individuals and populations around the world.
Programmes and projects range from the molecular biology of AIDS vaccines to the epidemiology of cancer; from risk analysis to violence prevention; from maternal and child health to quality of care management; and from healthcare management to international health and human rights.