Patrick Reynolds, grandson of tobacco company magnate RJ Reynolds and one of the most influential advocates of a smoke-free America, is coming to Chattanooga.
Reynolds will meet with youth, their parents and the community during an annual event sponsored by Students Taking a Right Stand (STARS). Tobacco Free Tennessee, the American Cancer Society and the Campaign for a Healthy and Responsible Tennessee (CHART) also are supporting Reynolds appearance.
Reynolds will present “Tobacco Wars!” or “The Truth About Tobacco” during a luncheon, which will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Chattanooga Choo Choo. The luncheon is open to the public. Cost is $15 and registration is required. Call 209-5535 for more information, or e-mail Karen Glenn at email@example.com.
“We are thrilled to bring Patrick Reynolds to Chattanooga,” said Shirley Cudabac, president of Tobacco Free Tennessee. “Patrick’s insight into the tobacco world will be shocking to people who care about the health and welfare of their communities.”
Reynolds watched his father, RJ Reynolds, Jr., his oldest brother, RJ Reynolds III and other members of his family die from cigarette-induced emphysema and lung cancer. Concerned about mounting health evidence, in 1986, Reynolds made the decision to speak out against the industry his family helped build. He became the first tobacco industry figure to do so.
In 1986, Reynolds spoke out publicly at a Congressional hearing in favor of a ban on all cigarette advertising. The following year, he testified before Congress again, joining the many voices who helped bring about the present ban of smoking on all US domestic flights.
In 1989, Reynolds founded the Foundation for a Smokefree America, a nonprofit group whose mission is to motivate youth to stay tobacco free and empower smokers to quit successfully.