A grandson of cigarette company founder RJ Reynolds, Patrick Reynolds first spoke out publicly at a Congressional hearing in favor of a ban on all tobacco advertising in 1986. Former US Surgeon General C. Everett Koop commented in 2003, "Patrick Reynolds is one of the nation's most influential advocates of a smokefree America. His testimony is invaluable to our society."
Mr. Reynolds' advocacy work and motivational talks to youth and adults have made him a well-known and respected champion of a smokefree society. He has helped remind many thousands of people of the dangers of smoking. In September 2015, the White House and President Obama presented him with the Lifetime Achievement Award.
Reynolds was a strong advocate for the Federal tobacco tax hike of 62 cents, signed into law by Obama in 2009 on his 17th day in office. USA Today published an editorial Reynolds wrote making a compelling case for higher tobacco taxes.
In April, 2009, Mr. Reynolds was invited to Greece by Health Minister Avramopoulos to help build public acceptance of Greece's new no-smoking law. There was strong national Greek news coverage of his visit, and Reynolds successfully focused the public's attention on the health hazards of smoking and second hand smoke.
Following his talks in Athens, the Ministry of Health of Greece sent an official letter of recommendation to other Ministers of Health. The letter notes, "Mr. Reynolds gave a well-informed, polished and persuasive speech, and there was strong and very positive national media coverage of his visit. Moreover, his talk to youth at one of our local schools was a tremendous success. Mr. Reynolds has made a noticeable difference to our national efforts against smoking."
Mr. Reynolds' group offers a critically acclaimed educational video for grades 6 - 12, The Truth About Tobacco, 2011 Edition. The video shows a live talk Patrick gave to 1,000 9th graders, and is illustrated with recent TV spots, film clips and anti-smoking graphics. Available on Amazon.com, it sends an empowering message to youth. The video has been purchased by over 10,000 schools.
Since first speaking out publicly in 1986, Patrick Reynolds has spoken before numerous municipal and State legislatures in support of proposed smoking bans, campaigned for State and Federal cigarette tax increases, and laws to limit youth access to cigarettes. He approached several members of the US Congress about the aggressive advertising of US brands in the Third World and Asia.
Mr. Reynolds coauthored a family biography with author Tom Shachtman,The Gilded Leaf: Three Generations of the RJ Reynolds Family and Fortune. The book was published by Little Brown to critical acclaim, and is currently in print through iUniverse.com. Photos, reviews, a press release and a link to order the book may be found at www.Tobaccofree.org/book/. The Gilded Leaf may become a series for television in future.
Side Box of Tobacco Facts for Journalists
We recommend including a side-box of tobacco facts, especially drawing on your State's most recent tobacco report card. This report from the American Lung Association is issued in January every year, and it provides an excellent state by state (and national) overview.
You will see your state's statistics compared other states in the areas of the state tobacco tax, state spending on prevention and cessation, your state's smoking ban, and whether your state has raised the purchase age to 21. This report is available at www.StateOfTobaccoControl.org.
Another excellent resource for facts is the Campaign for Tobaccofree Kids, at www.TobaccoFreeKids.org. See especially their report on your state's current spending on tobacco prevention programs; it links to useful statistics on tobacco in your State. See 'A Broken Promise to Our Children' at www.tobaccofreekids.org/reports/settlements On that page, scroll to the map of the US, and click on your State on the map, or click on the dropdown list to the side of the map.
For downloadable artwork and photos, go to www.Tobaccofree.org/photos/.
Videos of Mr. Reynolds' recent live talks are at www.Tobaccofree.org/clips/.
Contact: Christine Hou, Office Manager
Photos downloadable in large files from www.Tobaccofree.org/photos/