Patrick Reynolds' advocacy work, motivational talks to youth and appearances in the national press have made him a well known and respected champion of a smokefree society. He has helped remind millions of people of the dangers of smoking.
Patrick 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 the mounting health evidence, in 1986 he made the decision to speak out against the industry his family helped build. He became the first tobacco industry figure to do so.
A grandson of tobacco company founder RJ Reynolds, Patrick first spoke out publicly at a Congressional hearing, in favor of a ban on all cigarette advertising (1986). In late 2003, former US Surgeon General C. Everett Koop commented, "Patrick Reynolds is one of the nation's most influential advocates of a smokefree America. His testimony is invaluable to our society."
Mr. Reynolds testified again in Congress in 1987, joining the many voices who helped bring about the present ban of smoking on all US domestic flights.
In 1989, Mr. Reynolds founded the Foundation for a Smokefree America, a nonprofit group whose mission is to motivate youth to stay tobacco free, and to empower smokers to quit successfully. He is a frequent speaker colleges, middle schools, and high schools, presenting his unique talk, The Truth About Tobacco, which combines motivational speaking with tobacco education. He is also a popular guest lecturer on university campuses, giving his talk Tobacco Wars. Over the years, Patrick has now presented his live talk to over 150,000 students.