Denison Hosts Tobacco Industry Heir Turned Advocate Of Smokefree Society
Posted: April 17, 2000
Patrick Reynolds, grandson of the founder of the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, will bring his campaign for a "smokefree society" to Denison at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday (April 20) in Swasey Chapel. Sponsored by the Denison Lecture Series, Reynolds' talk and following question-and-answer session are free and open to the public.
A champion of a smokefree society, Reynolds first turned his back on the cigarette company founded by his grandfather in 1986 when he testified in Congress in favor of an end to all cigarette advertising. He testified again in 1987 to help bring about the smoking ban on U.S. domestic airline flights. Former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop has called his testimony "invaluable to our society."
In addition to his U.S. Congressional testimony, Reynolds has spoken before dozens of state and municipal legislatures in support of proposed smoking ordinances which became law. In February of this year, he was one of many voices advocating a "no" vote on California's Proposition 28, which would have decreased the California cigarette tax by 50 cents. The proposition failed in the March election. He also campaigns against the aggressive advertising of U.S. brands in the Third World and Asia. Most recently he has advocated spending a greater share of tobacco settlement funds on youth tobacco-use prevention and education programs.
Reynolds founded the "Tobaccofree.Org" non-profit organization in 1989 after seeing his father, oldest brother and other relatives die from emphysema and lung cancer. He was honored in 1988 by the U.N.'s World Health Organization with a special award and in 1989 he was awarded the Humanitarian of the Year Award by Chicago's Mt. Sinai Hospital. In 1989, Reynolds' book, "The Gilded Leaf," was published by Little, Brown. It is a family history spanning three generations.
Denison University, founded in 1831, is an independent, residential liberal arts institution located in Granville, Ohio. A highly selective college enrolling 2,100 full-time undergraduate students from all 50 states and dozens of foreign countries, Denison is a place where innovative faculty and motivated students collaborate in rigorous scholarship, civic engagement and the cultivation of independent thinking.
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