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Patrick Reynolds      

Anti-Smoking Activist, Former Executive Director of the Foundation for a Smokefree America & Former Actor

Patrick Reynolds' advocacy work and motivational talks to youth and adults have made him a well known and respected champion of a smoke-free society. He has helped remind 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, he made the decision to speak out against the industry his family helped build.

A grandson of cigarette company founder RJ Reynolds, Patrick first spoke out publicly at a Congressional hearing in favor of a ban on all tobacco advertising in 1986. Former US Surgeon General C. Everett Koop commented in 2003, "Patrick Reynolds is one of the nation's most influential advocates of a smokefree America. His testimony is invaluable to our society."

Reynolds serves as Executive Director of the Foundation for a Smokefree America, a nonprofit group he founded in 1989. Its mission is to motivate youth to stay tobacco free, and to empower smokers to quit successfully.

In addition, Reynolds co-authored a biography about his colorful family history, The Gilded Leaf, spanning three generations of the RJ Reynolds family and fortune. The book was published by Little Brown to critical acclaim in 1989. In 2011, Tobaccofree.org released a new version of his bestselling educational video for grades 6 through 12, The Truth About Tobacco.

Since 1986, Reynolds has spoken before numerous municipal and State legislatures in support of proposed smoking ordinances which became law. He has campaigned for several State cigarette tax increases, Statewide 100% smoking bans, and laws to limit youth access to cigarettes. He approached several members of the US Congress about the aggressive advertising of US brands in the Third World and Asia.

Reynolds was a longtime advocate of the Federal tobacco tax hike of 62 cents, signed into law by Obama on his 17th day in office, in 2009. The tax had been vetoed twice by President Bush. In September, 2012, a front page USA Today article announced a study showing that since implementation, the new tobacco tax has helped reduce the total number of US smokers by 3 million, raised $30 billion in revenue, and caused an immediate drop in youth smoking rates of 10% to 13%.

He was also a proponent of the Congressional bill for FDA regulation of tobacco. In March, 2009, he met in Washington DC with Rep. Henry Waxman, a co-sponsor of the bill, to offer his support. The bill was passed by Congress and signed by President Obama.

In April, 2009, Reynolds was invited to Greece by Health Minister Avramopoulos to help build public awareness of Greece's new no-smoking law, and to call attention to the serious health hazards posed by second hand smoke and tobacco use. There was strong Greek news coverage, and Reynolds was profiled in numerous national Greek media outlets.

In college, Reynolds studied English at UC Berkeley and then filmmaking at UCLA and USC. In 1969 he filmed a documentary titled 'Berkeley' which was shown at the 1970 Cannes film festival. Director Robert Altman invited Patrick to appear in his film Nashville in 1975, and following that, Reynolds studied acting with Lee Strasburg and other coaches. His acting resume includes several feature films and TV shows, with a starring role in Eliminators in 1986.

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