Mon, Dec 6, 2021
A A A
Welcome Guest
Free Trial RSS
Get FREE trial access to our award winning publications
Horizons: Family Office & Investor Magazine

Patrick Reynolds, the Unlikely Anti-Smoking Activist

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Patrick Reynolds, son of R.J. Reynolds Jr., part of the historic R.J. Reynolds tobacco family, is on a mission to rid the world of smoking. He's been an anti-smoking activist since the 1980s when he surprised the world testifying against Big Tobacco before Congress. Now he's working to build an endowment for his foundation - The Foundation For a SmokeFree America and launch a goodwill tour around the world to help other countries adopt measures to combat smoking.

"Tobacco took my father away from me, and that had a very profound effect on my life," Reynolds tells Horizons. "His death contributed to my decision to speak out later against the industry that made my family wealthy. I realized I had a strong platform to make a difference on the tobacco issue, and that I was in a position to save lives."

When Reynolds gave his testimony before Congress in 1986, smoking was more prevalent in society than it is today. In the years which followed, Reynolds campaigned in many states in favor of early smoking bans, and advocated for laws limiting youth access to cigarettes, for state and national tobacco tax increases, and for using some of the new tobacco revenues to fund smoking prevention and cessation campaigns. "When I began, we were just starting to understand how damaging second-hand smoke is. We were up against people who didn't believe the science or just didn't want change," Reynolds says. "

"Our early successes were all with city governments, but after just a few years, state legislatures began passing statewide smoking bans."

Reynolds pioneered a playbook that includes a mix of policy, consciousness raising and muckraking to beat back Big Tobacco's empire. Taken together, the efforts of Reynolds and other activists have cut smoking in the US by 50%. Now, after 30-years of focusing on the US, Reynolds wants to take his foundation global. He's launching a goodwill tour that will start in Dubai, with the goal of raising awareness about smoking in geographies where it is still widely accepted.

"We know from our work in the US that these policies work. They are effective in helping people quit and keeping kids from starting," Reynolds says. "But, there are still many places where we aren't having this conversation. And internationally, there is potentially more that we can do. In Australia for example, they have removed all the fancy packaging and instead include a picture of diseased lungs. Courts have ruled that violates the first amendment in the US, but there is no reason other foreign jurisdictions couldn't take up their own packaging restrictions."

Part of the goodwill tour will include speaking and networking with families and other high net worth individuals who may want to be involved with anti-smoking advocacy. Reynolds says that he thinks his unique platform as someone who is part of the

R.J. Reynolds family, helps him reach people and take what he says as credible. Reynolds is also hoping to find like-minded families that want to work with his foundation as part of their philanthropic efforts. "I'm going to do this for the rest of my life," he says. "I think we can eradicate smoking in my lifetime."

B. McCann

TobaccoFree.org is an online resource for anti-smoking advocacy supported by Patrick Reynolds. Vistors can learn more about his efforts, his goodwill tour and how to help The Foundation For A Smoke-Free America.

In addition to his anti-smoking work, Reynolds is also an advocate for Operation Santa, a goodwill project of the US Postal Service. With Operation Santa, individuals can take the letters low-income children write to Santa and send gifts to those who might not otherwise get them. Project Elf also works with parents who have made requests for holiday gift assistance.

Reynolds supports a website called "Be An Elf" designed to raise awareness of the Operation Santa project and helps donors match with families during the holiday season.

 
Today's Exclusives Today's Other Voices More Exclusives
Previous Opalesque Exclusives                                  
More Other Voices
Previous Other Voices                                               
Access Alternative Market Briefing


  • Top Forwarded
  • Top Tracked
  • Top Searched
  1. SPACs: Trump-tied SPAC seeks Wall Street support, Nextdoor surges in public market debut after SPAC merger, Barrows Hotel Enterprises considers SPAC merger, Aussie SPAC targets big deal after NASDAQ IPO[more]

    Trump-tied SPAC seeks Wall Street support From Al Jazeera: Day traders and Reddit enthusiasts helped fuel a spectacular rally in Digital World Acquisition Corp shares, which reached a closing high of $94.20 last month before leveling out to recently trade around $60. The blank-ch

  2. Tiger funds change some stripes, Melvin Capital's comeback plan, What's behind Sachem Head's surge?, One of Asia's oldest hedge funds is buying distressed China debt[more]

    Tiger funds change some stripes From Institutional Investor: Falcon Edge, Light Street, Lone Pine, Viking, and Hound made significant buys and sells in the third quarter. Falcon Edge Capital Management exited its two largest U.S. long positions in the third quarter, according to

  3. SPACs: Hambro Perks eyes first London SPAC listing under new rules, SPACs churn out restatements, again, to correct accounting, Investment manager's SPAC Investcorp Europe Acquisition I files for a $250m IPO[more]

    Hambro Perks eyes first London SPAC listing under new rules From Bloomberg: U.K. venture capital firm Hambro Perks Ltd. aims to raise 140 million pounds ($187 million) listing a special purpose acquisition company in London, in what could be the market's first major blank-check offerin

  4. Opalesque Exclusive: TRF - the right product at the right time (part 1)[more]

    B. G., Opalesque Geneva: Eurex, an international derivatives exchange and a member of the Deutsche Börse Group, has been churning out its pioneering Total Return Futures (TRF) since 2016. In a

  5. Coinbase co-founder launches biggest VC fund in crypto, Valkyrie launches $100m DeFi hedge fund, Kyle Bass says the big money has been made in bitcoin[more]

    Coinbase co-founder launches biggest VC fund in crypto From the FT: Coinbase co-founder Fred Ehrsam and former Sequoia Capital partner Matt Huang have finished raising $2.5bn this month for Paradigm One, their first venture capital fund. Investors jockeyed to commit money to the fund, allo