IDRC and Cancer Research UK partner on innovative new tobacco control initiative

October 18, 2017
hands rolling dry tobacco


IDRC and Cancer Research UK are pleased to announce the launch of a new five-year initiative aimed at preventing tobacco-related diseases and promoting public health in countries throughout Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, the Middle East and North Africa, and sub-Saharan Africa.

Tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable death worldwide, causing more than 7 million deaths per year — the vast majority in low and middle-income countries (LMICs).

Even though fiscal policies for tobacco control are widely recognized as highly effective and economically viable, many LMICs have yet to implement their own. There is a real need for locally-owned, country-level, economic evidence that stands up to scrutiny, informs the public, and motivates policymakers. 

In order to generate such evidence, to have it heard and understood, and to enable policy action, IDRC and Cancer Research UK have launched an ambitious new partnership, The Economics of Tobacco Control Research Initiative.

“We are proud to launch this joint initiative with Cancer Research UK, among the world’s premier cancer research charities,” said IDRC President Jean Lebel. “Through this partnership, IDRC and Cancer Research UK can amplify their efforts, directly addressing the health and development challenges posed by tobacco use in LMICs and promoting the value of evidence-backed development research.”

The five-year partnership and its associated competitive call for concept notes will fund projects up to CA$1 million for research exploring the economic rationale for tobacco control. The applied nature of the funded research is intended to drive tobacco-control policy measures in the near and medium-term, helping these countries make strides towards meeting global health and economic empowerment Sustainable Development Goals.

“By targeting collaborative, applied economics research, this Initiative will support the implementation of effective fiscal policy measures,” said Cancer Research UK Director of Prevention Alison Cox.  “Our aim for this collaboration with IDRC is to prevent tobacco-related disease and save lives.”

About the funders

IDRC is a Canadian Crown corporation that invests in knowledge, innovation, and solutions to improve lives and livelihoods in the developing world. IDRC has more than 45 years of experience investing in science and innovation by funding LMIC led research teams across the global South through a strong field presence in sub-Saharan Africa (Nairobi), the Middle East and North Africa (Cairo), South Asia (Delhi) and Latin America and the Caribbean (Montevideo).

Cancer Research UK is the world’s leading independent cancer charity dedicated to saving lives through research. They fund scientific research to help prevent, diagnose, and treat cancer, and work with government to ensure policies tackle the major preventable risk factors for cancer. Cancer Research UK’s international tobacco control program seeks to accelerate the implementation of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, with a focus on increasing tobacco taxes and reducing affordability.

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