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Global Action to End Smoking Launched

Cliff Douglas has officially relaunched the Foundation for a Smoke-Free World as Global Action to End Smoking and described the move as “a very exciting time for the organisation”

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Cliff Douglas (President and CEO) has officially relaunched the Foundation for a Smoke-Free World as Global Action to End Smoking and described the move as “a very exciting time for the organisation”. The relaunch took place at a live event in Washington, D.C. and featured a panel discussion.

The panel discussion featured Dr Leighton Ku, the director of the Health Policy Research Centre at the Milken Institute of Public Health at George Washington University, and Dr Anthony Salandy, the senior director of Development and Business Strategy at the National Harm Reduction Coalition. The discussion was moderated by veteran broadcast journalist Kenneth Moton of D.C.’s Fox Five. It was described as “a robust exploration into the future of person-centred approaches to smoking cessation, informed by some important lessons from traditional harm reduction communities.” 

The recording of the event is available here:  

Global Action to End Smoking announced that it will fund research by the Urban Institute to study tobacco-use disorder and nicotine dependence among low-income individuals in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. The work conducted by Urban’s Health Policy Centre will further understanding of the challenges of quitting among the country’s marginalized and most vulnerable populations. Additionally, it will fill a critical equity research gap relating to the effective delivery of tobacco cessation and treatment and provide tangible solutions designed to reduce smoking rates and improve public health.

We’re thrilled to work with the experts at the Urban Institute, who will carry out the important work of quantifying the magnitude of the problem of the smoking epidemic among low-income individuals in the U.S.,” said Cliff Douglas. “Understanding the barriers to cessation is the first step to overcoming them. This work reflects our commitment to end the smoking epidemic worldwide by helping us better understand how best to empower those at the greatest risk of suffering illness and premature death from smoking.”

With support from a Global Action grant, Urban’s health researchers will analyse data from state Medicaid programs on treatments for tobacco-use disorder from 2019 to 2026. This research will allow the experts to estimate the prevalence of smoking and vaping rates among people with low incomes and examine the potential impact of the 2023 and 2024 Medicaid disenrollment on people who smoke. The findings of this work will identify and provide recommendations for the health community, policymakers, and everyday consumers of tobacco products. Urban is a leading non-profit research organisation that provides data and evidence to help advance upward mobility and equity.

Our research will offer key insights into Medicaid prescribing trends for tobacco use disorder and nicotine dependence treatments,” said Urban Institute senior research fellow Lisa Clemans-Cope. “This work will inform efforts to enhance health outcomes and minimize disparities for the leading cause of preventable death and disease.”

The Urban Institute grant falls under Global Action’s newly established Cessation Education program. In addition to continuing to fund research under its Health and Science Research focus area, grants within the Cessation Education program will focus on unearthing challenges to quitting and on better educating consumers, health-care providers, and key public-health stakeholders on the ways people who smoke can improve their health by quitting and moving down the continuum of risk. The work funded in this space focuses on marginalized communities and low- and middle-income countries, where 80% of the world’s tobacco users live.

The Cessation Education initiative is an expansion of Global Action’s existing grant program area that raises awareness of the many cessation strategies and tools available to people who smoke. In addition to the new program, the revamped Global Action website ( will provide the public with the latest evidence-based information on smoking cessation and risk minimisation as a living resource for consumers and health care providers. 

Global Action is energised by our work across the world, from the United Kingdom to Pakistan and the Philippines, because smoking is a truly global epidemic. With the new grant to Urban Institute, we are elevating the work of an institution that will focus on empathy, understanding, and solutions for people who smoke, rather than the judgment and shame they too often face,” continued Douglas.

Through September 2023, the organisation received charitable gifts from PMI Global Services, Inc (“PMI”) while operating as an entirely independent entity. In October 2023, the organisation ended its prior funding agreement with PMI. Global Action has since adopted a formal policy that it will not seek or accept funding from any industry that manufactures tobacco products or non-medicinal nicotine products.


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Dave Cross

Journalist at POTV
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Dave is a freelance writer; with articles on music, motorbikes, football, pop-science, vaping and tobacco harm reduction in Sounds, Melody Maker, UBG, AWoL, Bike, When Saturday Comes, Vape News Magazine, and syndicated across the Johnston Press group. He was published in an anthology of “Greatest Football Writing”, but still believes this was a mistake. Dave contributes sketches to comedy shows and used to co-host a radio sketch show. He’s worked with numerous vape companies to develop content for their websites.

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