to the speaker
Reynolds was the first tobacco industry figure to turn his back
on the cigarette makers. He's a grandson of the tobacco company
founder R.J. Reynolds, but the family's cigarette brands, Camel
and Winston, killed his father and eldest brother.
first speaking out in Congress in 1986, Patrick has been a well
respected champion for a tobacco free society. In hundreds of
live talks before universities, middle schools and high schools,
and with over 6,000 copies of his educational
video purchased by schools and health departments, Mr. Reynolds
has reached well over a million youth in school with his powerful
talk about the dangers of tobacco.
a little over an hour, Reynolds went from being just another
anti-tobacco speaker to something special," commented one
local paper. Recent news
articles about his appearances illustrate how his appearances
can bring the tobaccofree message to the whole community, and
build goodwill for sponsors.
short phone call to a local hospital will plant the idea with
its Community Relations Director to sponsor his talk. County
health departments and tobaccofree coalitions will often chip
in. Print out our Five
Minute Plan now and make one call!
the quotes from
teachers who saw him speak live. Mr. Reynolds also offers
a highly motivational lecture
program for universities.
Reynolds is devoting his life to furthering the goal of
a smokefree society, and to motivating young people to stay
text version of his talk for youth follows below.
Text of our live anti-smoking
for grades 7-12
information included in the version below.
My father died from
want to begin today with a little story. My parents were divorced
when I was three, and for six long years, I didn't see my Dad.
Now a boy needs his Dad to come to the football game and say, "You
played well, son. I'm proud of you you're my boy!" He
needs his Dad's hugs, encouragement, guidance and love. I didn't
have that, and it was hard for me. A girl needs her Dad, too.
you in the audience do not have your biological father living
at home with you, and you share the situation I remember. How
do you feel about that? Are you angry, or sad, or maybe
a little afraid, not having him around as much as you would like?
Or a combination of feelings?
we're going to spend some of our time taking about our feelings.
How did I feel? At times, I felt angry, sad and afraid
six years, I really missed him. When I was nine, I got the idea
to write him a letter. It said, 'Dear Dad I want to
meet you. Where are you?' He was traveling at the time,
and amazingly, my little letter was forwarded seven times from
city to city. By a miracle, it got into his hands and he sent
for me. I remember the day I first got word that he wanted to
meet me, and I was jumping up and down with joy.
the big day came at last, and they showed me into the room where
he was, I was saddened to find my Dad lying down, on his back,
gasping for breath. He was dying from emphysema, caused by smoking
the cigarettes that made our family wealthy.
only got to see him on five visits after that, and every time,
he was increasingly sick and frail, and counting the time he
had left to live.
Dad died from smoking I was 15, and that was hard. Later, my
aunt and oldest brother would die because they smoked. That's
why I chose to totally turn my back on my family's former tobacco
business and walk away and to do everything in my power
to connect with young people, and persuade them to stay tobaccofree.
also did it because doing this work, I have been able to make
a difference. It's feels wonderful to contribute to the lives
of others to be of service.
those are two reasons I chose to devote my life to the tobaccofree
cause. In 1989 I founded The Foundation for a Smokefree America,
and I'll dedicate myself to this work for the rest of my life.
Tobacco Is Extremely
I could give you just one message today, it would be this: smoking
is extremely addicting. Once you start, you may not be able to
stop ever. And the same is true for drugs and alcohol.
can't emphasize this enough some of you may not ever be
able to stop, if you start smoking or chewing tobacco.
long does it take to get hooked? A September 2000 study showed
that one quarter of 11 to 13 year olds who smoke as few as
two or three cigarettes a day become addicted in just two
weeks. And many of the rest got addicted shortly after
hooked, the average smoker is unable to stop for seventeen
years! And every year, they will spend $1200 or more on tobacco
products, to maintain their addiction.
could you buy with the money you would save in two years? How
about your first car! Over
10 years, you would save $12,000!
Visible Light / Mickey
look at someone trying to quit smoking. For most addicted smokers,
the addition is about half-mental, half-physical. This varies
with each individual.
physical portion of the addiction is to nicotine. The psychological
part of the addiction is to the relaxing, familiar sensation
of handling the cigarette, watching its curling smoke, the deep
and relaxing breathing associated with inhaling and exhaling,
the taste, and so on.
quitting, a smoker's conscious mind says, "I will stop smoking no
problem." But the unconscious mind has been conditioned that
cigarettes give pleasure, and that's all it can focus on.
addicted, unconscious mind says, 'Give me a cigarette now!'
It only recognizes what feels good, or what doesn't feel good.
It demands a cigarette without regard to right or wrong, and
rebels against the conscious mind's decision to not smoke.
the process of quitting, however, a new habit of being a nonsmoker
forms. The unconscious mind gradually gets used to not smoking,
and the urges to smoke die away. [See our cool Quitting
Tips for more information on how to quit smoking.]
they get addicted, nearly all smokers try to stop a number of
times. But most fail repeatedly at quitting, and many are never
able to stop smoking.
check: there is no product which works well. 85 out of every
100 quitters using the nicotine patch or gum go back to smoking
within a year. Once
you are hooked, there's
just no easy way out.
smokers who quit without being in a program, it's worse — 95
out of 100 of them fail, and return to the habit within a year.
lesson is clear. With no program, statistically smokers have
only a 5% chance of success. With a program, the average quitter's
chances increase to 15%. So getting into a program increases
your chances of quitting by three times.
trying at all, of course, means that nothing will change.
you are smoking now or using chew tobacco, I urge you to first
admit to yourself that maybe you are using tobacco less out of choice,
and more because you are addicted. Later, when you make a clear
and firm decision to stop, getting support from a good program
will help ease your way. In short, get help. See the school nurse or go to our website, Tobaccofree.org, and click on the quitting tips.
Real men ask directions
who are the most successful at living life typically get plenty
of help. For example, in business, a successful businesswoman
or businessman gets a lawyer to write the contracts, an advertising
agency to create the ads,
an accountant to do the accounting, a doctor when they're sick, or a marriage counselor when their family is in trouble. In short, people
who succeed best in life get help, and lots of it. Even the greatest
novelists in history usually had editors they counted on for valuable feedback prior to finalizing their books.
often get mentors, adults who look after and guide their careers,
and share their knowledge. Ask an adult you admire and trust
to be your mentor. They might say no, but don't give up — ask
someone else. Choose someone with high morals and ethical standards,
and don't settle for less.
experimented with cigarettes as a teen. I never thought I'd get
addicted, but by age 18 I was completely hooked. For the next
17 years, I tried and tried again to quit. I failed a dozen times.
I finally quit smoking in 1985, and have stayed smokefree since
then. Quitting smoking was one of the hardest things I ever did.
you are smoking, don't be afraid to get help. If you are using
tobacco now, or experimenting with it, see the school nurse or
talk to an adult.
with others is a big theme today. It's okay to talk to
someone and get help. If you can't find anyone, get into an online
program. Check our free Quitting Tips page
for more info.
if you haven't started smoking yet, remember tobacco is extremely addicting.
You can get totally hooked much faster than you think.
best way to avoid getting addicted is simply to not smoke no
Smoking in Movies and TV
the 1990's, there was a big upsurge in the amount of smoking
in films and TV. Characters in the movies were much more likely
to smoke than a person in real life, and so films misled many
teens into thinking that smoking was more popular than it really
many movie stars make smoking look cool to young people — and
children — who go to films. You might remember a star smoking
in a recent movie. If not, perhaps you will notice it next time
you see it in a film.
want to open your eyes and empower you today. I want you to become conscious of
how the stars have set a bad example for our kids, when they make
smoking look cool on screen.
America does not advocate censorship of movies. Instead, let's
deliver a dose of healthy shame to the actors who smoke in films,
and make it look cool to our kids. Then perhaps the stars will
think twice before they do it in future films. Shame on the producers,
stars have been smoking most in films? John Travolta smoked in
many of his films; Julia Roberts smoked
in several of hers. So did Winona Ryder, Ethan Hawke, Gwenneth
Paltrow, Brad Pitt and others.
people look up to stars and copy them. It's difficult to measure
the negative effect these actors have had on younger children.
Stars have a responsibility to lead our kids in a good direction,
not in a bad one.
on you folks. We expect more from you in the future!
uncovered this photo of an old
ad for Lark cigarettes with Pierce Brosnan. It was
seen in Japan. But Brosnan saw the error of his ways,
and has since shown leadership in the Hollywood
community when he announced he would smoke no more as James
Bond. His turnabout set a good example for other stars.
Sheen's ad for Parliament ran in Japan. Mr. Sheen set
a bad example for Japanese youth who look up to him.
more info, see our page,
Anti-smoking issues in TV and films.
ads into anti-tobacco ads
this powerful and motivating section of his anti-smoking assembly
program, Mr. Reynolds discusses tobacco advertising. The vivid
stories and facts he relates in his anti-tobacco talks are
designed to empower youth to resist the onslaught of cigarette
ads and peer pressure.
the anti-smoking ads below, Patrick makes great fun of tobacco
advertising. He emphasizes that smoking looks very un-cool,
and is no longer socially acceptable.
middle school and high school youth enjoy this section of his
anti-tobacco assembly program. Humor is a key ingredient of
ads told the truth,
here's how they might look.
all seen the ads for Marlboro Country, with images of beautiful
country scenes, wild horses galloping, and rugged, masculine
cowboys around a fire, or on horseback. Well, if tobacco ads
told the truth, here's what the real Marlboro Country might look
that we see several smokers, outside their office building in
the cold, getting their fix of nicotine because they're
addicted. They're not welcome inside the building. People just
don't want to be around their smoke. Often it's not legal to
smoke indoors, because second hand smoke can seriously hurt others.
fact is, today almost four out of five people in the USA do not
smoke. Nowadays, being a nonsmoker is the norm.
difficult and painful to put up with the anti-tobacco attitudes
so many people have today.
choose a path that is just about guaranteed to bring you rejection?
don't like the Utter Fool anti-smoking ad. Why? Because
we're calling somebody a fool. It's just not a very effective
way to communicate or persuade. The listener will just tune out
if you call them a name.
want to stop for a moment, and talk about how we can better communicate with
I need a volunteer. I'd like someone who has a friend or loved
one they want to ask to quit, or to not smoke in the house. The
other requirement is that you be able to give that person two honest compliments. He
selects a volunteer.
Mr Reynolds: So who do you
want to ask to quit smoking, or not smoke in house?
Reynolds: Okay, I need a second volunteer to be Mom. Who
wants to be Mom?
chooses a student to play Mom. Students often laugh in delight
Do you want to ask Mom here to quit, or just not smoke inside?
Reynolds: Okay. Start with an honest complement. In general,
that's a good idea whenever you want to say no to anyone about
anything. It's helpful and effective to start with an honest
compliment and a smile, and say, for example, "Hey, Mom,
that dinner you made last night was great!" "Oh,
it was?" Your parent or friend will open up,
and will be all ready to really hear what you have to
say next. Of course, your compliment must be true, honest,
and from your heart. So what's an honest complement to give
Mom, who's standing right here?
I like your hair-do.
Reynolds: OK, Mom, how does that feel?
Reynolds (to other student): Now don't use but,
as it totally undoes the nice words you just said. Instead,
use and. Then follow with I feel, and tell
them the emotion you are honestly feeling when you see them
see now, what feelings do we have to choose from? All of us have
six basic emotions the primary colors of our hearts. We've
got (he acts out using facial expressions and tone of voice) anger,
sadness, joy, love, fear and shame. And there's a whole rainbow
of sub-combinations. So what do you feel when you see your Mom
Reynolds: Any anger?
Reynolds: Any fear? For example, that she might die?
Reynolds: So tell Mom here how you feel when you see her
I feel sad and angry when I see you smoke.
Reynolds: Now, briefly tell her what you want
her to do.
want you to quit.
now we need the second complement.
I admire how capable you are at work.
Reynolds: Great! (He
turns to Mom)
Reynolds: Mom, how does that feel?
Reynolds (to student): Now put it all together.
I like your hair-do, but I —
Reynolds: No but! Use and. Okay, go again.
I like your hair-do, and I feel sad
and angry when I see you smoke. I want you to quit. And I admire
how capable you are at work.
Reynolds: Excellent! Okay,
Mom, how does that feel?
Reynolds: Okay, well done. Let's give these two a round
of applause — it takes courage to come up here! Thanks.
Here are some answers other students have given:
I love the time you spend with me, like when you take me fishing
with you, or come to see me play in the game. Your giving of
your time means so much to me. And when you smoke, I feel afraid
and sad, and a little angry. I need you to stay healthy and
be there for me, and live a really long time. I need you, and
I love you a lot!"
that's a nice dress you have on today. And you know, I feel
sad, and a little afraid too, when I see you smoke. I want
you to quit soon! I don't ever want to lose you. I love you
my best friend, and we have a lot of fun hanging out. I feel
afraid when I see you smoke. I'm worried your second hand smoke
will hurt me, and you too. I want you to put out that cigarette
now, please! And you know what? I'm really glad we're friends."
Reynolds: In summary, if
you call someone a fool, you lose them. They tune out. On
the other hand, if you approach them in a warm, friendly
manner and tell what you're feeling, your friend or loved
one will open up, and really hear what you have to
result? You'll be a more effective communicator. It's powerful
and very persuasive to express your feelings, and it feels good,
too. We'll come back to that.
another anti-smoking ad. Some of you will remember that not so
long ago, the tobacco company my Grandfather started, R.J. Reynolds
Tobacco, used a cartoon camel to promote its Camel brand. Most
of us remember Joe Camel. He was cool, he wore sunglasses, and
he was shown at the beach with girls in bikinis
around him, or in front of fancy sports cars, or playing
the sax, or hanging out at a pool hall called Joe's Place.
if tobacco advertising told the truth, here's what Joe Camel
would really look like: (Mr. Reynolds shows this anti-smoking
Art by Adbusters -
JOE'S LAST WORDS
is lying down, sick from smoking! He's got a needle in his arm
to get the chemotherapy medicine, whose purpose is to cure, or
at least slow down, his cancer. It made his hair fall out! His
friends are all gone, he's all alone, and his days as an athlete
are over. And he's in terrible, awful pain, and knows he's going
might be saying, "I wish I hadn't smoked. I conned a lot
of kids into thinking smoking was cool, and I'm sorry! And I'm
sorry I smoked. I'm dying of cancer. Just look at me now! Please whatever
you do, don't smoke!"
that's what tobacco ads would look like, if they told the truth
about tobacco and smoking.
also shows slides of more recent ad campaigns targeting youth,
including several of those below.
do you feel about their going after youth?" he asks, as
he shows several of the images below.
In October, 2006, R.J. Reynolds finally agreed to take its candy-flavored cigarettes off the market, and to stop running ads associating them with alcoholic beverages.
Ads for R.J. Reynolds Candy-flavored Camel Cigarettes
Click each ad for a larger view.
for Brown & Williamson's Kool Cigarettes
Click each ad for a larger view.
The toll of smoking
in the US
and around the world
teens are not so concerned about the risk of disease later in
life. But the fact is, cigarettes cause emphysema, lung cancer
and heart disease, and 4 out of every 10 smokers later die from
their addiction to tobacco. Nearly all of them got hooked as
to a US Surgeon General's Report issued in May, 2004, smoking
is even worse than previously thought. It damages virtually
every organ in the body.
the US, smoking causes 1 of every 5 deaths. Cigarettes kill
1,200 Americans every day a tragic death toll of 420,000
Americans each year.
the world, smoking now kills five million people every year.
In the US, 20% of adults, or one in five,
are addicted to smoking. But because smoking rates in Europe
and Asia are so much higher, on average, one in three adults
worldwide smoke. And smoking kills 4 out of every 10 people who smoke.
we do the math, this means that in coming decades, cigarettes
will actually kill 500 million people and all of them
have already been born. That's nine percent of the present
world population. It means that almost 1 of every 10 people
now alive on earth will die because of tobacco use. These statistics
come from the United Nations World Health Organization, headquartered
in Geneva, Switzerland.
day in the US, 2,000 teens become newly addicted to smoking.
Think about it: most will not be able to quit for 17 years,
and over 800 of those teens will later die from cigarettes.
do you feel about that?
More about tobacco
take a closer look at cigarette advertising. Would you object
to being manipulated mentally? Well, tobacco ads are designed
to play with your mind.
January, 1998, Democratic Congressman Henry Waxman revealed some
very secret memos of the RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company. In 1975,
one executive wrote, "The Camel Brand must increase its
share penetration among the 14 - 24 age group which represent
tomorrow's cigarette business." Tell me, what feelings do
you have about that?
1986 memo noted how the cartoon camel campaign would utilize "peer
acceptance/influence" to "motivate the target audience
to take up cigarettes." How does that make you feel? I feel
sad and angry about it.
Your conscious mind vs. your
many teens tell me that tobacco ads have had absolutely no influence
over them. I agree that tobacco ads will not change your conscious mind but
they may be getting through to your unconscious mind
more than you realize.
is the unconscious mind? While your conscious mind is analytical,
and makes (mostly!) sensible, rational decisions, it's your unconscious
mind that often throws common sense out the window. It's the
creative part of our minds, and it cares little for right or
wrong. It just knows what feels good or bad, regardless of the
example, an overweight person may have made a responsible and
conscious decision to diet, but their unconscious mind still
remembers the sweet taste of ice cream. The conscious mind's
will to diet can be overcome by the power of the unconscious
mind, and the memory of delicious ice cream. "Willpower" is
literally the conscious will's power to repeatedly resist the
strong desires of the unconscious mind.
The story of Pavlov and his
Russian scientist Pavlov used to ring a bell every time he fed
his dog. Every day he would ring the same bell to call the dog
to his supper. This went on for many months. One day, he accidentally
forgot to put the food out, but rang the bell, thinking he had.
The dog came running, wagging its tail, and Professor Pavlov
was amazed to see the dog drooling — its mouth watering,
as though the scent of food were in the air.
realized that his dog had made an unconscious association
between the sound of the bell and the smell of supper. His dog
was salivating simply upon hearing the bell! He had "conditioned" his
much the same way, the cigarette ads we see in magazines build
an unconscious association, conditioning us to make
a connection between the deadly addiction of smoking and strong,
positive images. In magazine ads, we see healthy young people
playing sports which require breath, like tennis, windsurfing
or mountain climbing. We see beautiful country scenes with campfires,
or wild horses galloping. We see attractive, adult role models
many teens would like to emulate manly cowboys gathered
in friendship around a campfire and successful, independent
and attractive women, who are role models for young girls.
many weeks did Pavlov have to ring his bell before his dog finally
drooled just hearing it, even though there was no food there?
It didn't take too long.
most of the 1990's, the tobacco industry spent about $5 billion
each year advertising its deadly, addictive products. Incredibly,
in 1999, they increased that amount by over 50% to
$8 billion per year.
2000, they spent $9 billion on advertising, and in 2009, a staggering
$13 billion. That's a lot of bell ringing, ladies and gentlemen!
are the most heavily advertised product in the world. Tobacco
advertising is a huge lie, and a deceptive manipulation on a
massive scale. And all that advertising sends a powerful message
to our unconscious minds, including the minds of our kids.
sad truth is that cigarette ads have a much stronger effect on
teens than most consciously realize.
summary, the tobacco industry knows exactly what they are doing,
and they spend billions every year to manipulate the unconscious
minds of millions. Don't let them manipulate you!
The truth about
When you were younger, maybe this high, you remember seeing countertop tobacco displays
in convenience stores and grocery
after day, year after year, they made tobacco look like a normal, acceptable product. You remember — they placed them at child eye level, right next to what? [A student yells out, "The candy!"] That's right, next to the candy. That's where who is going to look? ["Kids!" they shout.]
How does that make you feel? ["Angry!"] It makes me angry and sad. For years, most of the tobacco companies told the stores, "Don't worry about shoplifting. We'll be happy to replace any stolen tobacco products at no charge." And all they had to do was to sit back and wait until our kids became addicted.
Once they got hooked, the tobacco executives knew they'd have those kids as regular customers for about the next seventeen years. That's the average time it takes a teen who gets hooked to finally quit, usually after several failed tries. And every year, those kids will be spending about $1,500 on cigarettes!
Today most States have laws requiring that tobacco be placed behind the countertops. But cigarette and chewing tobacco
displays are still full view.
quick show of hands, please how many of you already
knew that the stores get up to $100 per month for each countertop
display of tobacco in the store? [Typically] I see that
almost none of you knew this.
tell the truth today. The store managers don't put tobacco displays
in stores because they think smoking is cool. Tobacco displays are
there for only one reason the store owners get paid money each month by the cigarette companies to keep them there. Or, the stores get steep discounts on tobacco products, partly in exchange for the displays.
recent years, the tobacco industry has spent a large share of
its multi-billion dollar ad budget on these deceptive displays.
Tobacco ads are no longer permitted on radio or TV, and there
are less tobacco ads in magazines and newspapers. Tobacco billboards
in the U.S. were removed in the late 1990's, as a deal point in the settlement of
the lawsuit by the States against Big Tobacco. In addition to
billboards, Big Tobacco withdrew its use of promotional T-shirts
and hats, which for years had turned many kids into little tobacco billboards.
even with the elimination of all that tobacco marketing, the
tobacco industry still managed to spend $15 billion
on advertising in 2005!
In-store countertop tobacco displays and product discounting are now a major part
of that spending. Temporary discounts on cigarettes make a pack of smokes much cheaper.
When the price of tobacco is lower, who do you think is more likely to try smoking, and later get hooked? You guessed it — kids. I
believe it's good to open your eyes about this.
are tobacco displays deceptive? Tobacco displays make it appear to children that cigarettes
are a perfectly normal product, like chewing gum or candy, and that tobacco is a customary and usual part of adult life.
In the early days, spit
tobacco displays also created the false impression among the
young that chewing tobacco was popular. Many young people thought, Lots
of customers must be buying chewing tobacco, because if the
store puts them right on the countertop or in plain view, they
must be pretty popular products.
truth is that not so many years ago, almost no one was using
chew tobacco. These displays made it appear to be a product
that was selling very well and this was a key element
of the campaign to re-popularize chewing tobacco.
displays, much like the ads in magazines, also foster the false
impression among both youth and adults that smoking is socially
acceptable. This inaccurate perception will continue, sadly,
as long children grow up seeing tobacco displays almost everywhere.
We'd like to one day see tobacco placed under the counter and out of view. Existing addicts could ask for their brand by name, and kids and former smokers would not be tempted. Freedom of speech still protects tobacco advertising, but one day the courts may find this kind of advertising may be outlawed on the grounds that tobacco is an unusual hazard to the health of our children.
Today being a non-smoker is the norm
four out of five people in the USA don't smoke. It's just not okay to
smoke around most people, and it's illegal to smoke indoors
in more and more places across our nation.
of November, 2010, 28 States have now passed strong
statewide laws requiring 100% smokefree restaurants and bars — and 27 of them did it in the past eleven years! It's a trend which has gained tremendous momentum. (California was first, in 1994.)
Banning smoking 100% appears to be an idea whose
time has come. It's popular with the great majority of the public
is much less socially acceptable than the advertising leads
teens to believe. The tobacco companies spent $12.8 billion on advertising
in 2009 up from only $5 billion annually just a few
years before. A substantial part of that is
being spent on in-store displays and promotional discounts.
ads falsely suggest it's okay to smoke around friends, and
create the impression that more people smoke than actually
do smoke. Tobacco advertising disguises tobacco as
a normal American product. Don't buy it! More and more teens are strongly anti-smoking. The rate of teen smoking has greatly declined in many states; in California, only 11% of teens smoke. Adults, too, often
speak up about their anti-tobacco feelings. People just don't want to be in the same room with
Two Recent Scientific
you're a teen who believes advertising has no effect on you,
consider this: one recent study demonstrated that advertising
plays a greater role than peer pressure in getting teens to smoke.
recent study proved that the three most heavily advertised
brands are the same three brands most chosen by teens Camels,
Marlboros and Newport. If you smoke, which brand do you usually
use? Probably, you use one of these three.
So Why Is Cigarette Advertising
The First Amendment
many teens have asked me, "So how come tobacco advertising
is legal, if smoking is so bad for you? Why don't they just ban
tobacco ads?" Here's why.
Constitution, of course, is the historic document which created
our great system of government. After completing it, the great
men who wrote it realized they needed to add on to it, or amend
it. The First Amendment provided for Freedom of Speech.
First Amendment means
that if I choose, I can stand up on this stage and say publicly, The
sky is purple! In my opinion, it's purple, and the clouds are
green! But if I lie, I will probably not sell too many videos
or books, and the market will quickly sweep me aside. That's one of the advantages of our market system.
Freedom of Speech protects my right to say what I like in public.
Sadly, it also protects the tobacco industry's right to say what
they like in their advertising, and to place tobacco displays
world is not a perfect place. That's one of the messages in my
initiation into life, which I'll give you before we say goodbye.
Until now, we adults have done our best to shield your eyes from
the bad in the world. It's time to gently open your eyes to the
fact that there is indeed some bad out there. In my opinion,
tobacco advertising is part of that, and it should be banned
or severely restricted. A private citizen should have every right
to free speech, of course. But to my mind, advertising is
quite a different kind of speech.
for now, just because you see tobacco products in stores in attractive
displays, it doesn't mean cigarettes are a normal, acceptable
American product like chewing gum or candy.
this knowledge empower you. Remember what I have said when you
see tobacco ads and displays in stores.
of Speech was originally intended to protect every citizen's
right to say in public whatever they wanted to say.
judges in our present court system agree that the First Amendment
protects advertising equally with private speech. One
day, however, I have faith that the Supreme Court will see these forms of speech as separate and
different, and will pass much stronger limits on tobacco ads — also because tobacco represents such an unusual hazard to the health of our
Almost no one over the age of 19 becomes addicted to tobacco.
New smokers are almost always children and teens and tobacco
is a product as addicting as heroin or cocaine.
A further Initiation:
Campaign donations to politicians
second reason why I believe tobacco advertising has not been
limited more by Congress is about money: the tobacco industry
has given millions to politicians' election campaigns. The
world is not a perfect place. This is part of
your initiation into life today.
and their parties use such donations primarily to run their election
ads on TV, in hopes of being elected. They insist that the money
they accept for their campaigns has no influence over the way
recent studies have shown that members of Congress who accepted
donations from the tobacco industry were several times more likely
to vote the way the tobacco companies wanted them to.
truth is that no corporation gives away millions of dollars
without expecting something in return. Any executive who gave
money away for no good reason would promptly be fired! Strengthening
our campaign finance reform law even more should, in my view,
be one of the highest priorities for the US Congress and our President.
in large part to continuing political donations, Congress has
done nothing in the past 30 years to limit tobacco advertising,
and next to nothing to raise the Federal cigarette tax. And Congress
has failed to make it harder for youth to buy cigarettes, failed
to legislate FDA regulation of tobacco, and failed to limit smoking
in the workplace.
fact, the biggest progress we have made against Big Tobacco did
not come from Congress, which of course is within the legislative
branch of our government. It came mostly from our court system,
or judicial branch. For example, in 1998, there was a $246 billion
settlement of the States' lawsuits.
have made progress in only a handful of State legislatures; the
tobacco companies remain powerful even at the State level. However,
we made great progress at the local level our city councils
and municipal governments.
Tobacco's settlement of the States' lawsuits resulted in an agreement
to end cigarette billboards, and the t-shirts and hats that turned
so many kids into little tobacco billboards. Tobacco may still
be advertised in magazines and newspapers, and may still be displayed
on countertops in stores.
progress ending cigarette billboards and "gear" came
from the courts, as a result of the settlement of the tobacco
lawsuits. It did not come from Congress.
summary, it's far from a perfect world out there. Sadly, our
politicians are too often influenced by special interest money.
I believe this will change.
are some good politicians who are presently more open to change,
who are trying to reform our system of campaign finance. Some
of my esteemed colleagues in the anti-tobacco movement are working
hard for this, as well as for new anti-smoking laws.
conclusion, just because you see tobacco ads in magazines, and
displays in convenience stores, it doesn't mean that tobacco
is acceptable or safe. The world isn't perfect! So be smart don't
let these deceptive tobacco ads mislead you.
tobacco was popular around 1900, but after cigarettes became
fashionable, less and less people used dip tobacco, and it
nearly disappeared. By the 1950's and 60's, very few people chewed.
the U.S. Tobacco Company began their ad campaign to re-launch
their chewing tobacco products, they advertised on TV and in
print media. But they did something few people knew about.
I asked for a quick show of hands to see how many of you already
knew that the tobacco companies pay stores around $100 per month,
often more, to keep those displays of tobacco on their
or just behind them. We saw that very few of you were aware of
for U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Co.
Click the ad for a larger image.
Tobacco and others paid grocery stores and convenience stores
all across the nation huge amounts of money to place chewing
tobacco displays on store countertops everywhere. Without
those payments from Big Tobacco, countertop displays of tobacco
products would quickly be removed.
we discussed earlier in the section about tobacco advertising,
countertop dip tobacco displays created a false impression among
too many young people. Many assumed, Lots of people must want
these products. If the store puts them right on the countertop,
they must be popular. Dip became popular in large part because
young people were deceived into thinking it was a popular product,
and also acceptable. After all, there was the dip tobacco, right
on the countertop — often alongside the chewing gum and
candy, where the eyes of children are sure to look.
of our young see tobacco displays every day, and have since they
were very small. Do you remember seeing them?
of kids got fooled. Day after day, month after month, year after
year, seeing those displays in convenience stores, many were
curious and eventually tried dip. Too many then became addicted
and of course, regular customers. And U.S. Tobacco began making
problem with these displays was, it was far
too easy for youth to steal cigarettes or chewing tobacco. They
often faced conveniently away from the cashier, where tobacco
was easy for kids to shoplift.
some States, laws have been passed requiring stores to keep the
displays behind the counter, out of reach. In some States, they
are starting to cover them with plastic.
the tobacco displays are still right on the countertops in many
States. And either way, they are often at child eye level.
do you feel about that? It makes me angry and sad, and my
feelings help me renew my commitment to the anti-smoking cause.
personally believe that to protect our youth, 'spit' tobacco,
along with cigarettes, should be kept under the counter, totally
unseen by customers. The old saying applies: out of sight, out
of mind. Then only already-addicted, existing customers would
think to ask for these deadly products by name. For now, though, Freedom of Speech protects tobacco advertising.
U.S. Tobacco Company makes several brands of spit tobacco. The
one many kids start out on is Cherry Skoal. It has the weakest
nicotine bite, and is sweetened with cherry flavoring a
taste not unlike candy. And these products are often placed next
to the candy in convenience stores.
who try it become addicted, and usually move on to another brand
with more nicotine, to satisfy their powerful new cravings. U.S.
Tobacco makes several brands, with varying amounts of nicotine.
The brand with the most nicotine is Copenhagen. US Tobacco actually
had the gall to take out one ad which read, "Sooner or later,
A True Story
about Spit Tobacco
Marsee had won 28 medals at track meets. He was a very popular
and respected athlete at his high school. Thinking it was safe,
Sean began chewing dip tobacco in his mid-teens.
day Sean came home and his Mom noticed a bulge in his lower lip. "What's
that, son?" she asked him. A little embarrassed, Sean said,
uh, I been dippin', Mom. Hey, my teammates do it."
you've always been a responsible boy. I'm sure you'll make a
smart choice about this." She smiled bravely.
few days later, Sean came home and told his Mom, "Mom, I
thought about it, and I'm gonna quit, no problem." A few
days passed, and Sean came home. This day he looked troubled.
tried to quit the dip, Mom. I can't do it."
ok, son, try again. I believe in you."
Sean tried again, and failed to quit. He tried again and again,
but he could not stop.
mother Betty was a registered nurse. She begged her son to quit,
but he was just unable to.
was Sean who had rescued his younger sister last winter, when
she fell through the ice on the lake. He was the hero of the
family, and he was increasingly respected in the town, also for
his success on the track field. He was becoming a man now, and
she had to let him make his own choices. So after a while, Betty
gave up trying.
few months passed. One day Sean came home and told his mother, "Mom,
my tongue hurts."
son, let me see." He showed Betty a red sore the size of
a half dollar on his tongue, with a hard white core in the middle.
my," she said. "We'd better get you to the doctor." At
the hospital, the doctor performed some tests.
few days later, Sean was lounging around the house watching TV,
like he always did. The the phone rang, and he heard his mother
answer in her bedroom, like she always did. A few minutes later,
he heard his mother's muffled sobs through her closed door. He
went into her room, and softly put his hand on her shoulder. "What's
you have cancer in your tongue," she sobbed. They went back
to the hospital, where Sean was shocked to learn he would have to have
most of his tongue cut out. He'd never be able to talk again, and he was only 18 years old.
In a voice that was part defiant and part trembling, he asked the doctor, "Can
I still run in the track meet on Friday?"
you can run in the track meet on Friday," the doctor replied. "But after that, I need
you to come in here." I don't know whether he won or lost in the meet that day, but he did his best, which is what sport
is. Afterward Sean smiled bravely as his Mom drove him to the hospital for the operation in which most of his tongue would be removed.
from the town sent cookies and cakes to the Marsee family, but
Sean had a feeding tube up his nose and down into his stomach.
He could not chew food. Visitors dropped by the house to visit
him and his sisters, and his coach brought friends by after practice.
the cancer did not go away. It spread to Sean's jaw and neck
muscles. Two more operations would follow. Sean had to have much
of his jaw bone removed, along with part of his nose, and some
neck muscles on one side.
was a boy who hated getting even a pimple, and kept his hair
meticulously combed! He took great pride in his physical appearance.
Now he felt ashamed.
Marsee at age 17
Marsee at age 19, just prior to his death
shows these overheads
as he tells Sean Marsee's story.
age 19, Sean lay in bed, sad and in pain. His best friend, who
had been told Sean didn't have much longer to live, came down
from Chicago to see him for the last time. On first seeing Sean,
his friend fought back tears, thinking of the great times he'd
never get to have with Sean.
next day, as they visited, he asked, "Sean, what if we took
a photo of you like this?" But Sean shook his head, glaring,
and wrote down emphatically, "No, not like this!" He
was overcome with shame and embarrassment at the idea.
his friend persisted, "What if other teens could see the
photo, and learn the truth about what chewing tobacco really
does?" Sean reflected on this for a while. Finally he allowed
this picture to be taken, with his track medals pinned to his
chest. It's his gift to you.
friend got another idea. "Sean, what if, by some miracle,
you could get a message to other teens? Do you have any words
you'd like them to hear?" Sean nodded because without
his tongue he could not talk and he gestured for pen and
paper. His hands trembled and his eyes welled as he began to
write, perhaps in part from the pain he was in. He struggled
to write down these words, as his message to all of you: "Don't
not too long after that, Sean expressed a simple affirmation
of his Christian faith, and died sad, disfigured, and
in terrible, unspeakable pain.
let's take a last look at these pictures, and thank The American
Cancer Society, Sean's family, and most of all, Sean himself,
for this gift. We will remember you, Sean Marsee, and learn by
your tragic death at age 19. We will remember.
story of Sean Marsee is available in greater detail here.
thanks to the Marsee family
for allowing us to reproduce these photos. We were pleased
to see that a USA
Today anti-smoking column wrote of our presentation of
Sean's story, "This was probably the most effective argument
best website on chewing tobacco is The
Patchproject — check it out. It includes terrific quitting
tips and plenty of truly horrendous photos of disease caused
Sean Marsee's story moved you, the before and after photos of Bryan
even more powerful and moving. This link is not for the faint of heart!
Summary and Review
tobacco was made to look like a popular product when the U.S.
Tobacco Company paid convenience stores to place their addictive
products on countertops. Thousands of teens across the country
assumed that chewing tobacco must be really popular. Eventually
many teens tried it, and soon became addicted.
six out of every ten U.S. smokers started smoking before
age 14. Nine of every ten smokers became addicted before
reaching age 19.
other words, almost no one will start smoking after 19! Nearly
all of the tobacco industry's new customers are teens. Who are
the only new recruits the tobacco companies can get? It's you the
young. How do you feel about that?
smart, and don't be fooled. And remember how very addicting tobacco
On How To Study
middle schools:] I'm going to ask you a question in a
moment. But first, I want you to keep your eyes me, stay very
quiet and not talk to your neighbor. You guys are being so
great today! That's how we learn, we keep our eyes on the teacher,
don't talk to friends, and listen. When we listen to the teacher,
high schools and middle schools:] When we don't understand
something the teacher says, the students who will succeed best
in school raise their hands and ask questions. Remember, people
who succeed best at life get help. To review, in business,
a successful businessperson gets a lawyer to write the contracts,
an advertising agency to create the ads, a doctor when they're
sick, and so on. People who succeed ask for help. Ask your
teachers and parents questions it's good to ask, and
it's okay to ask. Real men do ask for directions!
the way, how do we study? It's called Butt Power you keep
your butt in the chair and your nose in the book. Excellence
takes just a little extra effort and focus. Highlighting is good,
and if you have time, go back and read what you highlighted again.
And always ask questions when you don't understand.
hear a good deal lately about the excessive homework being assigned
today. If enough families speak up, schools will respond, and
we will see change. So let your feelings be known about that.
the past, it has been far too easy for children to steal cigarettes.
All the tobacco companies had to do is to sit back and wait until
they got addicted. It only takes 2 weeks in many cases. When
you do get hooked, your cigarette addiction will cost you $1,200
per year or more to maintain and it's possible you might
never be able to stop.
here's my question. Let's see a show of hands: How many of you
know of a friend who has stolen cigarettes ? [In most middle
and high schools, from 1/4 or more of the hands go up.]
makes me feel sad. Let's have a talk about ethics. I'm going
to give you three good reasons to be honest.
there's our relationship with our community. It really hurts
our community when we are dishonest and that means it
hurts the people around us.
It hurts our parents, our friends,
and our neighbors. And we hurt our own good feelings about ourselves our self-worth and our self-esteem.
fact is, we are all models of ethical leadership for each
other. When we do the right thing, we lead our friends in
a good and honest direction. You influence your friends positively
when you refuse to use cigarettes, drugs, or alcohol. If you
steal, you lead your friends in a dishonest direction. And your
example really does influence your friends. If you say yes to
these things, you're hurting yourself and your friends.
how we feel about ourselves is really important. One of the
best reasons I know to be honest is that it just plain feels
good. And it feels bad when we do something we know to be
dishonest. For example, it's so painful to hide and tell a lie,
or to keep a deep, dark secret when we have done something wrong.
Guilt and shame are very uncomfortable to bear. They're very
costly emotions. Telling the truth, and being honest, lightens
our load and sets us free.
really very simple. It just plain feels so good to be honest.
middle schools:] Mostly I don't like secrets the
secrets of your best friends your own age are okay. But if
you're carrying a deep, dark secret, or feel like you have
done something really wrong, it can feel like you're carrying
around a 100 pound weight everywhere you go.
the courage to talk to your parents about it.
If you can't bring yourself to talk to your parents, then talk
to a trusted teacher, your friends, and especially to the school counselor. That's what
they're there for. It's so good to talk
to someone and it will be okay, no matter what.
carry a huge secret alone. When you talk
to someone, it's like setting that 100 pound weight down, and
suddenly you're free of it. So don't hold back. Don't carry your secret silently, what EVER it may be. Remember, students
who succeed best usually get help — so speak up and talk to another person!
Telling the truth really does set us free.
What Can I Do
If My Parents Smoke?
get asked this a good deal, and my answer might surprise you don't
be a NAG about their smoking habit!
right don't be an anti-smoking fanatic! Instead, ask for
example, it's appropriate to let your anti-smoking feelings be
known if someone smokes in the house or near you. It's okay to
speak up because their second hand smoke hurts you.
don't nag them to stop smoking. There's a big difference!
said, it's okay to ask family members to quit smoking but
I'd recommend asking them no more than three times a year. Be
brief, and try to use loving tones and words. Sandwich your request
between honest compliments, and family members and friends will
become more open to hearing you.
already seen a fine example of this today, in the earlier demonstration
with the volunteers who so bravely joined me up here.
you ask a loved one to quit more than three times per year, you're
a yucky, obnoxious nag! If you deliver your anti-smoking
feelings more than this, you may make them so angry that they
will keep on smoking, just out of anger and stubbornness.
So honor your
smoking loved ones, and treat them like adults. Don't harass
them about their habit, or nag them with your anti-smoking views.
Let them decide to quit smoking by themselves, when they get
ready. That's often the best way to open the door for them to
do, however, get to be a pest about second hand smoke. That
hurts you, so it's your business. But you don't get to nag
a loved one to quit their addiction.
Examples of how
a friend or loved one to quit
like we did in the demonstration, sandwich your "No" between
100% honest, positive statements. Do your best to talk about
your feelings speak from your heart. For example,
love being your friend, and I value our friendship. And I
feel angry when you smoke. I don't want to lose you. I want
us both to live for a very long time."
Dad, thanks for taking me to the game last Saturday. I had a
great time with you. And you know, I get afraid when I
see you smoking. I need you to live a long time. I love you,
Dad." The key is to express what you are really feeling.
that dinner you made last night was great! And I feel sad when
you smoke. I really love you, and I need you so much!
Honest complements motivate people
a complement like this one: "Dad,
you're wise and responsible. I'm sure you'll quit smoking whenever
you get ready, and when you get around to it. I feel happy when
I remind myself, of course you'll make a smart choice
about tobacco! I have so much faith in you I just think
you're the greatest, Dad!"
this last example, you didn't nag your Dad, or even ask him to
quit. Instead, you told your Dad only genuine and positive things.
(If these don't fit you, try to find complements that are genuine
and honest.) This last example follows the slightly more advanced
formula described just below, in "What Parents Can Do" except
now you're using this idea on your parents!
summary, whatever you do, don't be a nag about anyone's addiction
to smoking. Remember, you only get to ask parents to quit three
times a year. But you do get to be a daily pest about second
hand smoke in the house, because that hurts you.
can do to
keep their children smokefree
you see your children do anything responsible, immediately reinforce
them. Remark on it right away! For example, if one brushes their
teeth or cleans up without being asked, say without hesitation, "That's
terrific that you did that. You really are such a responsible
young man / lady!"
child gets the idea that they really are responsible after
all, Mom / Dad must be right (or how would dinner be on the table?)
child accepts just about whatever you say so when your
child says or does something wise, smart, helpful, or responsible,
remark on it. You will build your child's self-confidence and
self-esteem and you will also deeply instill in them the
belief and simultaneously create the reality that
they are indeed responsible.
when it comes to the teen years, you will be able to justifiably
say, "Honey, I'm not worried about you, when it comes to
smoking / alcohol / drugs / or the opposite sex. You're a very
responsible person so I know you'll make a responsible
choice about all these things.
the other hand, when the parent worries, the child gets a message
that they must be irresponsible. The child thinks, 'Mom looks
so worried that I might smoke / use drugs / etc. Why does she
get that worried face when she looks at me? Oh, I know I
must really be irresponsible. Okay, she's right, I am.
So, I'll go do these things! It's who I really am!'
the child says, 'Dad just called me stupid, so I must really
be stupid. Okay, so I'll get bad grades. After all, I'm stupid!
Dad must be right...' And so on.
psychology tells us the first born is often the "hero" in
the family. But try not to lavish most of your compliments on
your oldest child. If the oldest child gets most of the reinforcing
positives from parents, a younger sibling may later feel able
to express their individuality only by taking a less than heroic
road. My older sister gets the good grades, and she gets rewarded
for it a lot. She is so smart! I must be the poor student. She's
always getting complements about it, and it seems like I get
have added that a middle child is often the "caretaker," and
that the youngest child is frequently locked into the "cutie-pie
mascot" role, sometimes for life. So try to let all your
children be the "hero" in turn, by distributing your
praise and displeasure more evenly.
your children lots of positives, but only when they really deserve
it. A child knows when you're blowing smoke.
your child you know how responsible he/she is will build your
child's self-esteem, and will help them to make more responsible
choices about not only smoking, but also about alcohol, drugs
and other high risk behaviors, later on.
be generous, and quick to respond with honest compliments. If
this is not the usual language spoken in your family of origin if
it's not the way you were parented then that's all the
more reason to try this new idea.
Becoming an Adult
teens take up smoking because they think it makes them look older,
but it doesn't. To most people it just looks like you're making
a big mistake, and like you're trying to make yourself look older.
no rush, you know. It's okay to be the age you are. It's okay
to be yourself, right here and right now. I advise you to enjoy
the present, and all the good moments your unique and special
life brings you.
high schools] All of you are now in process of crossing the bridge
from childhood to adulthood. You're moving at your own pace,
and you should be. In the teen years, things can start moving
more quickly, like rapids when a river gets narrow.
actually normal to have very intense feelings sometimes,
or go through a rebellious period.
actually normal to feel as though you are apart from most
everything and everybody.
is part of the normal process of establishing your own identity
and personality apart from everyone else's. These
feelings are okay, and mostly they are appropriate.
may, for example, find yourself saying "No!" more to
adults, or questioning your parents and teachers. You may find
yourself easily flushed with anger, shame, joy, love or other
strong emotions. All this is part of the passage to adulthood
in the teen years.
you do, please don't make the mistake of risking getting addicted
to cigarettes, drugs or alcohol in your efforts to set yourself apart
from and establish your individuality. Remember, it often
takes just two weeks for 11 to 13 year olds to get hooked on
you feel angry, don't turn your anger inward, on yourself by
smoking, or by becoming addicted to drugs or alcohol.
you do, you hurt only yourself, and you may not ever be able
to stop. These addictions have a very good chance of killing
you. So be smart, and do your best to make responsible choices.
are yesterday's news they are on the way out. If you get
addicted to smoking, you'll be on the way out too.
Reviving the ancient tradition
we come to a very special part of my talk. Today we're going
to revive the ancient tradition of initiation, largely lost to
many thousands of years, on every continent on the globe, the
older members of the tribes would take the younger ones out into
the forest or desert for an initiation ritual. This was done
in diverse societies all around the world. Even though they had
no way to communicate with each another, people seemed to know
intuitively, or by time-honored tradition, to have a ceremony
to initiate adolescents, and welcome them to the world of adults.
initiations would last from 2 to 3 days, but some went on for
longer. Initiation almost always involved making the younger
ones uncomfortable, often by depriving them of sleep or food,
or inflicting other hardships, and putting obstacles in their path.
I could never understand why the adults would do this, and I pondered it now and again over the years. One morning, though, I got it and understood.
I believe the
purpose of inflicting difficulty during initiation was to let
youths know that life is sometimes hard, and that they could
handle those times as they arose.
was as though the elders of each tribe were saying,
you were a child, we wanted to shield you from the difficulty
and struggle in this world, as much as we could. But now,
you're entering the adult world. To forearm and prepare you,
we are letting you know in this ceremony that life will be
hard at times. And you can do it. Welcome to adulthood, and
welcome to life! At
the end, the elders always warmly welcomed the youths into
the world of adults.
going to take a few moments now and initiate you. I'm not going
to inflict physical pain or conduct any rituals today, so don't get nervous! I
will only give you the essence of the message, which begins with the awareness that life
will sometimes bring you hard moments and obstacles.
believe things are designed that way for a good reason. Life is not meant to be easy. It's by our struggles to succeed against adversity that we define
our characters and become strong men and women. It's by staying
with whatever pain and difficulty life brings us that we
heal, and solve our problems not by running away like
when the painful moments come, like so many adults do, don't
make the mistake of altering your mood and avoiding the problem
at hand by using cigarettes, alcohol, or drugs. People who continue to use tobacco are avoiding the pain of nicotine withdrawal.
To avoid their discomfort, many teens
also use things that aren't normally harmful, such as TV, music, food, or
even turning on the computer and going to work.
take the easy path! Only a baby gets instant gratification.
Adults have to delay gratification and wait for it. Instead of these distractions, face your uncomfortable feelings head on, and begin to solve the
Above all, talk to a trusted teacher, the school counselor, your friends, your parents -- connect with another person. If you keep your problems to yourself and bear them all alone, you're making a mistake and the problems will linger on as the years go by.
It's by talking about our difficulties to another
person that we heal, and solve them. Stay with your problem, talk about it to others,
and take steps to solve them. You can do it!
it you're initiated, and closer now to the world
of adults. Welcome!
Our Multiple Addictions
Bradshaw once called America "a nation of addicts".
In addition to smoking, he said that many adults also get addicted
to food, alcohol, drugs, music, TV, computers, movies or even
to work. "We are poly-addicted," he said.
says that we are really trying to avoid one thing: our pain.
Tony Robbins has also said that we seek to avoid our pain.
Bradshaw points out that when we alter our mood with substances
or diversions like these, we just temporarily numb our pain,
or divert our attention away from it and we don't solve
the problem which is the cause of our pain.
solution: instead of smoking, or running to the icebox door to
alter your bad mood, stay with what's bothering you. Think about
what's causing the uncomfortable feeling, identify the cause,
talk about it to others, and take action to start resolving it.
Life was not
meant to be easy it's supposed to be difficult. It's designed
held teen beliefs
but every statement below is false.
invulnerable nothing can harm me.
risks with cigarettes/drugs makes me look cool to other
chewing/ drug use/ alcohol makes me tough.
cancer? Lung cancer? It won't happen to me!
can stop anytime.
never be a smoker / alcoholic / drug addict.
never get a disease from smoking or chew.
chew. It must be safe.
never get AIDS.
Sean Marsee died at 19 from
chewing tobacco. You'll never get AIDS? Just ask a teen who's
HIV-positive, and who may have their life cut short by that disease.
You won't get addicted? Ask a teen drug addict or a teen alcoholic.
This is very, very sad.
Keep your hopes for the future strong
What caused the dramatic
smoking upsurge from 1988 to 1998?
1988, the cartoon figure Joe Camel was introduced. An important
CDC study found there was a huge and mysterious upsurge in the
amount of teen smoking between 1988 and 1998. In those ten years,
teen smoking in the US increased by a staggering 73%! At the
time, learning this made me sad, and made me angry, too.
since 1998, smoking has begun to trend downward again among middle
and high school students, partly as a result of the increased
spending on tobacco prevention campaigns in some States. In
October 2001, Health and Human Services Director Tommy Thompson
announced a new study showing a dramatic 30% drop in the rate
of new teen tobacco addiction.
what caused the huge 1990's upsurge in teen smoking? One CDC
study said there were two major factors to blame. First, it blamed
cigarette ad campaigns which targeted the young, such as Joe
Camel and the Marlboro Man. Second, the study said that smoking
by movie stars in films and TV had played an important role.
there is one factor which went unexamined, and which I believe
was another significant reason for the 1990s increase in teen
smoking. During the 90's, many teens began having increased doubts
and anxiety about the future. Many students, especially youth
at risk, may have felt, I have no future anyway so
why not smoke or try drugs?
to a 1994 study by Coca-Cola's marketing department, large numbers
of teens felt they faced a bleak future. When conducting market
research for their ad campaign for OK soda in the early '90's,
Coca-Cola executives discovered that US teens suffered from "an
acute sense of diminished expectations." They found that
many were pessimistic about their future job prospects, and were
excessively anxious about the future.
believe this helped start the attitude among some, Let's
party now! Who cares if I smoke, drink, or try drugs? The future
is looking pretty bad. I'm angry about it the adults really
screwed things up. I just want to have some fun while I can.
the tragic events of September 11th, 2001 significantly
increased student doubt and worry about the future. The need
this problem is now greater than before.
we could help rebuild and restore our teens' hopes for in the
future, it might help motivate many to stay healthy.
If you feel
or anxious about your future
about it to parents, a trusted teacher, the school
counselor, and friends
positive here are some examples
what is real wealth, anyway?
your faith in the future: The coming years hold tremendous
avoid tobacco,drugs and other high-risk behaviors,
because you'll need your health in the incredible times
do you feel about your future?
you optimistic or are you more of a pessimist? Does your
future look reasonably bright, or pretty dim to you?
your future were decidedly dim, and the adults really did mess
things up, you'd be 100% right to be angry. But even if that
were true, taking your anger out on yourself hurts mainly you.
For example, some teens take out their anger by smoking, drinking,
or using drugs. If you do this, you hurt your parents, but the
person you hurt the most is yourself. Any of these can very seriously
damage you. They might even destroy your whole future. Don't
listen to so-called friends who tell you differently. Limit them
by telling them no.
you feel some anger, fine, go ahead and get it out "I'm
angry about the..." Say this to your parents, to your friends,
or perhaps to the school counselor (a very smart move). Express
your feelings and talk to someone! Remember, those who get help
and ask questions tend to be more successful at living life.
you do, don't make the error of hurting yourself with your own
anger by smoking, drinking, using drugs, or other dangerous,
by talking about our feelings, as soon as possible after they
happen, that we heal. When we instead numb out and pretend everything's
fine, our anger, sadness and hurt just build up inside. After
a while we forget why we were angry, fearful or sad in the first
place and we take it out on ourselves, hurting ourselves
with tobacco, alcohol, or worse.
talk about your feelings to family, to friends, to a trusted
teacher and especially your parents or the school counselor.
Find someone you feel completely safe with and talk about
what's on your mind. That's the best way to fix the problem.
Talk about what makes you angry, sad or afraid. Talk to someone,
and it will help solve the cause of the problem.
it's good to let your negative feelings out and talk to others
about them, it's also smart to try to keep a generally positive
is it written in stone that your future will be dark? Negative
thoughts like those below on the left will pull you down. They
will hinder your progress toward your goals.
the other hand, positive thoughts like those on the right will
help to propel you forward in life. Thoughts like these will
help you reach your goals, and help make your dreams come true.
PULL YOU DOWN
PROPEL YOU FORWARD
won't be a good job out there for me.
will be an excellent job out there for me.
could never own my own business.
day I can own a business if I want to.
have no future.
future is looking fine!
have a poor memory.
have a good memory.
can't do this.
CAN do this.
person won't like me anyway no point in saying hello.
person will be glad I said hello; so what if we don't become
friends? I'm saying hello!
not a very likable or valuable person.
am likable, and I make a great friend.
feel mentally off, defective somehow.
have a good, perfectly fine mind.
country is going downhill.
are getting better.
whole world is going downhill.
whole world is becoming more aware and honest.
stinks it's too hard out there.
is great! I'm going to do just fine out there!
parents seem to have even less money now than they did just
a few years ago and they both work.
parents may not have much money, but we have a LOT of happy
times. My parents like their jobs, and would rather work
than stay home all the time.
going to be left for me?
world has so much to offer me there will be PLENTY!
no future for me. I may as well have fun now.
have an amazing, wondrous future, and I'm NOT going to blow
it by making irresponsible choices and tragic mistakes.
your family frequently say positive things? Or do they tend to
make more negative statements? What about your friends? How do
you feel about this? Does it make you happy or angry or
sad? Does it mean you have to think the same kind of thoughts?
Do you choose friends who think this way?
important to talk to adults about your negative feelings, but
don't get too carried away with them. Most of the time, try to
think positive. Notice how you start to succeed more.
if there are leaner times ahead? What if tough times
are already here for your family?
you angry about it? Does that mean you just give up and throw
your whole future away on tobacco, drugs, alcohol or take other
painful times give us a gift: they increase our soulfulness,
and they build our spirituality. Difficult times also bring us
closer to our loved ones. Our struggles help to strengthen our
character, and help us find out who we are.
by talking about our feelings of sadness and/or anger, we heal
our wounds and become stronger.
real men do talk about their feelings. They are actually more
powerful, masculine and successful than those who close off from
others and isolate.
What is real wealth?
is real wealth, anyway? TV sends us strong and repeated messages
that to be "wealthy" we must buy more products, and
spend more money. Our whole present economic system is based
on the yearly growth of the economy. Our culture emphatically
tells us that consuming more every year is both necessary and
good for the world. Our shopping malls are shrines to buying
more and still more things which often, we don't really need.
This is the wrong direction for us to continue in. We must find
the courage to change, and leaders who will help us change, because
the world has a limited amount of renewable natural resources,
and many people now feel we should make efforts to consume less,
not more, in the future.
fact is, as poorer, less industrialized nations develop their
economies in the "Third World", their peoples will
start to consume as much energy and resources as we do. This
is already happening on a large scale in China and India. The
truth is, our planet will no longer be able to sustain the greatly
increased rate of consumption of the earth's natural resources.
optimistic and hopeful, however, that these issues will be solved,
through intensified exploration for natural resources, through
greater conservation and perhaps, through a fundamental
shift in our perception of what wealth really is.
commercials suggest that owning material things will bring us
happiness and fulfillment. Shampoo ads cunningly imply that their
brand of shampoo will actually make us better looking.
TV ads slyly, and falsely, suggest that owning this article of
clothing, or that kind of car, will actually make us more successful
with the opposite sex. All this is very far from reality.
truth is, the thing which makes us happiest is our relationships with other people. Our 'inner lights,' or personalities, are what
most attract friends, as well as the opposite sex — not possessions.
however, implies that without buying these material things, we
can't be happy, sexy or fulfilled. This is simply a lie. Cigarette
ads are just one of many examples. The material things advertised
everywhere in our culture are just that only things!
We need to turn away from our nation's intense focus on the material.
more we get, the more we want. And the more we want, the more
frustrated and unhappy we become. Our goals continually seem to recede
further and further beyond our grasp.
believe the most profound and deepest form of wealth is simply
knowing this: I already have enough.
some of you may be thinking, Ha! That's easy for you to say — you're
rich! So let's talk about that. Most of my family's money
went into foundations and to charity, because my father wanted
his sons to work. He worried we wouldn't work if we had a lot
of money, so he did not leave us much.
I feel like a very wealthy man — not in dollars, but in real wealth.
one sense, real wealth is to be freed from always wanting more
than we now have. When we know we have enough, we are
truly wealthy and far happier, too.
book Your Money or Your Life by Joe Dominguez and Vicki
Robin develops this idea. It makes a strong and moving case for
simplifying our lives, and has influenced a great many people
in the US.
many people, real wealth is about family, and the
love we get at home. For some it's about fun times shared with
good friends. For others it's about joy of a life spent together
with a special someone. For many it's about children. Real
riches are also found in good health, one's positive memories
of a life well-lived, or the simplicity of just enjoying a
beautiful winter or summer afternoon.
wealth comes, too, from our good feelings about ourselves our
pride in our inner selves. Feeling good when you are alone
is also a sign of wealth.
wealth can also be about your connection to God, to your own
higher power, or however you may think of that.
conclusion, don't fall victim to all the materialistic messages
coming from television and the advertising industry and
remember what real wealth is.
your faith: The coming years hold tremendous promise.
society is now changing rapidly. What if in the future we come
across a few lean months or even years? What if the lean
times are already here for you?
I have a strong conviction and faith that any tough times will
pass, and the world will once again become a very bright and
positive place. We've had recessions in the past, and the economy
always came around again.
want to share my vision with you, and the strong feeling I carry
deep inside. I believe that something great and wonderful is
coming our way, and that good times will follow any possible
difficult period, as surely as the sun will rise tomorrow.
it mystical, call it irrational, but you can't take that feeling
away from me, or convince me otherwise. I'm sharing it with you
now, in hopes that it might plant the seed for you to catch my
faith in the future.
convinced that over the long term, things will be okay no
positive is a form of faith and it really works. Develop
your ability to think positive thoughts, and soon you will see
very real results. Try it and see!
back and reread the
Positive - Negative thoughts table above.
Write out your own list of positive thoughts.
have faith that the future is looking great, no matter what happens
in this world.
my vision, and don't hold yourself back by worrying about the
future. Think positive thoughts as much possible.
this, and develop your faith that all will be well. Others will
catch your enthusiasm, and you will be more successful in life.
on to your health
you'll need it in the terrific times ahead!
conclusion, you'll need your health every precious bit
of it in the wondrous times ahead. So avoid tobacco, drugs,
alcohol and other high-risk behaviors.
responsible choices now. Lead your friends in a good direction,
by not smoking, and not using drugs. Make the smart choice. Don't
risk becoming addicted to cigarettes, alcohol or drugs.
the incredible future that's coming your way. You'll need your
body to be in excellent health, to enjoy the long and and wonderful
life you have ahead of you in the 21st century!
A Fork in the
came to a big fork in the road in my life with one road
leading the right way and another leading the wrong way. There
were signs the signs pointing in the wrong direction said,
'Easy Way This Direction,' 'Familiar Territory,' "Smooth
Road Ahead,' 'For Comfort, Right This Way'. The signs pointing
in the direction I knew was the right one said, 'Danger Ahead,'
'Unfamiliar Territory,' 'Steep Uphill Climb,' and 'Rocky Road
of you will come to many such forks in your own live paths. When
you do, remember this moment and think, before taking the easy
way. Choose the road you know is right.
A Vision and a Promise
closing, I want to share with you my vision that we will have
a society free of tobacco, one day. One day there will be no
more mothers and fathers who die early because of cigarettes.
There will be no more kids getting addicted to tobacco, because
tobacco will be a thing of the distant past.
all been listening so attentively, it tells me each and every
one of you is a responsible young man and woman. I have faith
in you, and I'm not worried about you. I believe you will make
a wise and responsible choice about smoking, and about drugs.
are a citizen of the 21st Century and in the 21st Century,
smoking will be no more. I promise you that it's going to happen — and
it will happen because of you. You are the future.
Q & A Session
you very much. I'd like to open up now to some Q & A, so
those of you who have questions or would like to make a statement,
I invite you to do so now.
Q & A sessions following his talks
always captivate young audiences.
is Mr. Reynolds' hope that young people will print out the message
above, show it to their teachers, friends and family, and take
time to discuss it together with them. He also hopeful that teachers
will share some the ideas above with their students.
new educational DVD of the live talk is available. The
Truth About Tobacco is fully illustrated with film
clips, cool graphics, photos and great anti-smoking TV spots.
It was created for 7th through 12th grade. Click here to learn more.
clips of the live talk or video
Thank you for caring
about the problem of tobacco use!