The Truth About Tobacco

The Truth About Tobacco Logo

Basic Information

Address: The Truth About Tobacco 8117 W Manchester Ave Suite 500 Playa del Rey CA 90293
Phone Number: 800-541-7741
Fax Number: 310-388-1350
Director: Patrick Reynolds

Action Shots

The Truth About Tobacco
The Truth About Tobacco
The Truth About Tobacco
The Truth About Tobacco

* Click each thumbnail for a larger version.

Additional Information

Focus: Tobacco and drug prevention, life skills
Grade Levels: 6-8, 9-12
Length: School period, or 60 minutes when possible
Pricing: Local hospital Directors of Marketing and Foundation Directors often fully sponsor this $4,000 program (covers two talks; travel from Los Angeles is in addition). For who to call and talking points, please see www.Tobaccofree.org/volunteer/ for details.
Equipment: PowerPoint projector with audio and video capability, wireless mike, follow spot preferred.
Mission Statement:

Our mission is to empower youth to stay tobacco free and drug free, and to motivate those addicted to get help to quit.

Program History:

Patrick Reynolds is the grandson of tobacco company founder RJ Reynolds (Camels, Winstons) who turned against Big Tobacco after his father died from smoking. A media draw, he has campaigned for smoking bans, tobacco tax hikes and more State funds for tobacco prevention in schools. His school assembly program for grades 6 - 12 is acclaimed by teachers and sponsors alike. His talks in schools are often funded by hospital Marketing Directors and Foundation Directors; see www.Tobaccofree.org/volunteer/ for talking points and who to call.

Testimonials: We hosted Patrick Reynolds for three lectures. He spoke at two middle schools to more than 1600 schoolchildren and teachers, and also gave a well attended community lecture for the public. Reynolds' impassioned talks were informative, funny, profound, motivating and poignant. A dazzling speaker, he skillfully mixed colorful stories about the RJ Reynolds family, Massachusetts and national tobacco data on a range of issues, and grabbed the attention of middle school children through the use of story, video, and role-playing on how to ask parents to quit smoking. Throughout his thought-provoking lectures, Reynolds interacted with his audiences and closed with an inspiring promise of the coming tobaccofree society. We received positive feedback from the community, students, teachers, and the general public. One member of the community told me "this was an important message for the youth of Plymouth, and Jordan Hospital performed a great service to the community by bringing Patrick Reynolds to Plymouth." At the close of his public talk, Mr. Reynolds invited Jordan Hospital's Lung Cancer Program Director, Dr. Francis Podbielski, the Director of Tobaccofree Massachusetts, and myself to join him on stage for an informal Q&A session with the community. The audience learned how they can be anti-toboacco advocates and about Jordan Hospital's state-of-the-art lung cancer center. As a result of the lectures, Jordan Hospital received strong pre- and post-lecture media coverage in the Boston Globe, the Old Colony Memorial newspaper, an interview on Boston's WBZ-AM radio station and local radio as well. Patrick Reynolds' passion and belief in his mission of preventing children from smoking was a resounding success for the community and for Jordan Hospital. Christopher Smalley Director, Marketing & Communications Jordan Hospital Plymouth, Massachusetts December, 2010 Patrick Reynolds was an outstanding outreach to our community for Sheppard Pratt Health System in Baltimore. Mr. Reynolds delivered a powerful and motivating talk to our high school, where our local newspaper as well as Baltimore's NBC and ABC affiliates' news crews covered him. Following his talk to youth at Forbush school, he spoke in our hospital's conference hall to about 150 community members and staff. There was tremendously positive feedback from both teachers and students at the school, and also from adults who attended his community talk later in the day. Mr. Reynolds is, simply stated, a wonderful speaker. He connects to his audiences' deeper emotions, and once the bond is formed, delivers powerful, excellent information in his PowerPoints to youth and adults. He captivated the students in the school, who sat hushed and attentive during his entire talk -- several teachers remarked how exceptional it was for a speaker to do that. I also got excellent feedback from staff and community members who came to his talk at the hospital. Lastly, Mr. Reynolds was pleasant to work with and professional; he made himself available for private meetings with staff here, then for a luncheon roundtable discussion, which motivated and galvanized our tobaccofree coalition at the hospital. I highly recommend Mr. Reynolds and his programs to any health care system marketing team or health conference planner. His program was a highly successful outreach for us. Bonnie Katz, Vice President Sheppard Pratt Health System Baltimore MD May, 2010 This was a highly successful live program we organized for selected middle and high schools here in suburban Chicago. It was so well-received, our health department purchased the video of this program for all the remaining schools in our county. Mr. Reynolds’ evening presentation for community members was also a great success. Bringing this speaker in live is a wonderful opportunity for staff to demonstrate leadership, be pro-active, and make a difference in the local community. Three hospitals joined together with the county health department to co-sponsor this excellent outreach. Hospital marketing executives were thrilled with the positive front page news coverage in one of Chicago's largest papers. Tobacco control staff in the health department made their job easier by helping book several schools at which Mr. Reynolds spoke. Since hospitals have to show evidence of community outreach, it was relatively easy for our health department's tobacco control coordinator to quickly obtain sponsorship from the local hospitals, with no cost to any of the schools. We initially called our local hospital's Director of Marketing, and invited them to co-sponsor. I attended all of Patrick Reynolds’ talks here, and was impressed as he consistently created an emotional bond with his audiences, telling his personal story of watching his father die from emphysema, when he was 15. Interacting frequently with students as he spoke, he skillfully took them on a journey of revelation, opening their eyes to nicotine addiction, and the deceptive advertising and marketing practices directed at youth by the tobacco companies. The overheads he used were convincing and effective. Through his inspiring talk and polished story-telling, Mr. Reynolds gave youth here a motivating and informative health lesson, which follows CDC-guidelines. In each of the schools he visited, he received tremendous praise from students and staff. Later, students continued to learn as health teachers and school nurses used the follow-up discussion guide for classrooms, which his office provided. I wholeheartedly recommend this gifted speaker and his program. We plan to bring Mr. Reynolds back. Mr. Reynolds also offers a "Town Meeting" about local tobacco issues. Thanks for considering this wonderful program idea. Jessica Gerdes, School Health Consultant DuPage County, IL Within the first five minutes, I was amazed to watch Patrick Reynolds create an extraordinary bond with our school's culturally diverse and economically underprivileged teens. After his opening story about his own father's absence, and the sadness and anger he felt as a youth because of it, he asked the students, "How many of you do not have your biological fathers living at home with you?" When over 50% of the audience slowly raised their hands, our students seemed to realize that these shared emotions cross all economic and social borders -- and a bond was formed. After that, the students listened quietly and respectfully, and I could see real interest in their faces, as they related to his overheads and the moving stories he told, so very effectively and skillfully. Given my experience with our student body at assembly programs, it was an amazing achievement. Mr. Reynolds is a very polished and motivating speaker. He relates exceptionally well to teens from all backgrounds. I would highly recommend him to other schools. Hali Rosen, Drama Teacher Hawthorne High School Hawthorne, CA Your presentation to 1,000 students, bussed here from 8 schools, produced rave reviews from every faculty sponsor that attended. I really enjoyed meeting you and wanted to let you know that the students in my club (SWAT Students Working Against Tobacco) were very motivated by your presentation. They would quote you and remind the students they presented to about your talk. George Walker Murphy High School Mobile, Alabama Feedback from students and teachers was excellent. This speaker was really outstanding, and people should know about him. He gave a truly excellent program which I believe made a difference with our students. Mr. Reynolds opened with his childhood memories of his own father RJ Reynolds, Jr. dying from smoking. He stressed to students how addictive tobacco is. He enlightened them with a new awareness of how movie stars set a bad example for youth when they make smoking look cool on screen. During his talk, he interacted with students. At one point he called up two volunteers from the audience. Mr Reynolds presented a detailed section on tobacco advertising, using humorous overheads, including Joe Camel dying in a hospital bed. He let students know that convenience stores actually receive monthly fees for countertop displays of tobacco, and that they are often at child eye level, next to the candy and chewing gum. His telling of the moving story of Sean Marsee was especially skillful. The effect on our students was obvious. Marsee was the high school track star who died from chewing tobacco at age 19. During this section, Mr Reynolds showed before and after photos of Sean which made some of our students gasp. He closed with his own positive vision and promise of the coming smokefree society. Office Manager in Mr. Reynolds' office tells me that local hospitals and tobaccofree coalitions often join to co-sponsor the entire cost of this program, so there may be no impact on your budget. Denny R. Vincent, Principal Muhlenberg North High School Past President, National Association of Secondary School Principals Greenville, KY Patrick Reynolds speaks from his heart and his past when he unfolds his family story about tobacco. He is a dramatic and sincere advocate for children's well being when he speaks out about the physical, emotional, and social toll that tobacco charges its victims. His two presentations before hundreds of middle and high school youth in Greenville, SC, were dynamic, thought-provoking, and touching. His commentary shattered the allure and mystic of tobacco for many of our students as they verbalized their wishes for family members to stop smoking. In evaluations, several students mentioned that they were going to stop smoking--or glad that they had--because of Mr. Reynolds' presentation. He helped to get our message out to students: "Tobacco kills." Dr. Susan Achilles Director of Federal Programs The School District of Greenville County Greenville, SC Patrick Reynolds spoke at a Coalition for a Tobacco-Free Arkansas regional youth meeting on April 15th, 2002 at the Nettleton High School in Jonesboro, Arkansas. Mr. Reynolds is a dynamic speaker, and not only does he have an intriguing personal testimony, but he has an admirable drive for tobacco prevention. Also, his overhead projections were effective in telling his story. For example, the before and after photos of Sean Marsee, the track star who died at 19 from spit tobacco, combined with Mr. Reynolds telling his story in a particularly moving way, captivated and moved the audience. In addition, the Teachers Class Discussion Guide his office provided teachers with an excellent guide for follow-up class discussion. A very positive article in the Jonesboro Sun, and coverage by local KAIT Channel 8 news, brought the tobaccofree message to the wider Jonesboro community. Mr. Reynolds' inspiring message of hope for the future near the end of his talk, and his conclusion, "So hold on to your health for the amazing, wondrous years ahead of you in the 21st Century!" may have indeed helped to motivate many of the students to stay healthy. We were pleased with Patrick Reynolds' skills as a speaker and have invited him back, to speak at our statewide Teen Summit on October 23rd at the Alltel Arena in North Little Rock. Jill Presley Cox Youth Coordinator Coalition for a Tobacco-Free Arkansas Little Rock, AR Patrick Reynolds has a real drive toward helping youth understand the addictive side of tobacco, and what the tobacco industry has done to target them as users. I watched as the kids were listening, and absorbing what he had to say. I work in a prevention program, and enjoyed watching someone of his caliber as a motivational speaker mesmerize his young audience. He is an honest speaker with a heartfelt mission. The vice-principal of our school, Dan Hill, told me he was very impressed, and thought many of our kids left the auditorium with a new view of tobacco. Dan Boone of the Peninsula Tobacco Alliance was so impressed he has called a meeting to look for a grant to bring Mr. Reynolds back to our community, so he can share his message with many more of our villages. Charlene Florence Ninilchik Traditional Council Youth Alcohol Program Manager Southern Peninsula Tobacco Alliance Ninilchik, AK The evaluations on his program were great! The kids gained much in the way of information and emotional connection. He recently spoke at our teen summit at Cal Poly Pomona, to over 150 students from several high schools. The students found him to be dynamic, interesting, and almost all indicated in their evaluations that Mr. Reynolds had impacted their lives and influenced their choices not to smoke. Nancy Ballantine Rowland Unified School District Rowland Heights, CA "Many students who enroll at Somerset are considered 'at risk' of failure, for various reasons, and many do not have the luxury of parental advice and support. Working at Somerset as long as I have, I rarely have seen the kind of student attention given to the advice Patrick Reynolds gave to them today. I know that his words changed, or at least, softened the hearts of our students." Ruben Presiado, Assistant Principal Somerset High School Bellflower, CA "Somerset High School had the opportunity to hear Patrick Reynolds' awesome speech, 'The Truth About Tobacco.' Our students are at risk individuals, and the response to his presentation made a great impact on many of them. A discussion was held in class following his presentation. The students explained that more teens need to be made aware of the effects of smoking. The pictures and story of Sean Marsee seemed to have made an incredible effect on several individuals. Bravo Mr. Reynolds, for all your efforts. How many lives would have been spared if the truth was made known much sooner. The speech was wonderful." Elaine Manneh Somerset High School Bellflower, CA "Nice job at Mayfair High School today! The kids seemed really engaged." Debby Caldarella Office of the Superintendent Bellflower School District Bellflower, CA Patrick Reynolds' presentation was extremely informative and interesting. The students found him very entertaining as well. Patrick has a way of relating to the teenagers and involving them in his presentation. His message was of great importance, and I think had a very good influence on the students. I would highly recommend Patrick for any group, any age level, to speak on tobacco addiction. Carroll Thetford, Principal Nettleton High School Nettleton, AR Mr. Reynolds is an energetic and enthusiastic speaker. His dynamic presentation style captivated our audience of intermediate level elementary students. His real-life example of a young person who chose to chew showed the students specifically what can happen to young, healthy people when they use tobacco. Mr. Reynolds told the sad, impactful story of how a promising young athlete, [Sean Marsee] was destroyed as a result of his tobacco use. The before and after photos of this boy were very effective in showing his transformation from a youngster with perfect health, to a grotesque, disfigured and sad young man after surgery. This drove the point home. The visuals used were very effective. Another effective part of the presentation was the time devoted to advertising for tobacco products. Mr. Reynolds made it abundantly clear to the children that advertising of cigarettes has been aimed at children to recruit them as new smokers -- if not today or tomorrow, in the next few years. Joe Camel and Marlboro Country were used as excellent examples to make this point. The interactive style that Mr. Reynolds used encouraged the children to be involved, through the raising of hands and asking of questions. Students were given strategies for dealing with smoking by friends and parents/adults. Mr. Reynolds also shared a wonderful, uplifting vision of the world that everything will work out, and that the youth in the audience are the voice of the future. He emphasized that students will have many good years ahead of them, and that they should not smoke or use drugs, because they will need their good health "in the wondrous and amazing years ahead." This is an excellent reason for youth to stay smoke and drug free, and no one has made that point here before. It was inspiring to all of us. Mr. Reynolds got two thumbs up from the teachers and staff at our school. Mr. Mike Coulahan, Principal Monroe Center Grade School Monroe Center, IL 61052 I want to thank you again for speaking today to Neenah's students about tobacco and its harmful effects. Your enthusiasm and passion about the topic were helpful in captivating our students' attention. Maintaining the attention of over 500 sixth graders from Neenah's two middle schools, as well as the students visiting from one of Neenah's private schools, is not an easy task, but I feel you accomplished this with a great deal of success. It was evident in the students' questions at the end of your speech that they were quite interested in what you had to share with them. I believe you made them think about their own use (or non-use), their friends' use, and their parents' use of tobacco, as well as ways to influence, or say no, to others. After seeing you speak today and the positive approach you used with our students, I would not hesitate to recommend you to other schools. Thank you for caring about kids. Mary M. Lofy, Assistant Principal Shattuck Middle School Neenah Joint School District Neehah, WI I discussed your talk at our high school with each of my classes, mostly freshmen, juniors, and seniors, about 75 students in all. The kids were very impressed with your personal history, very impressed with the story of the high school student who dipped tobacco and got cancer, and very impressed with the "subvertising" spoof ads that you showed. I understand that your talk to the Middle School really had an effect on the students there. You are fighting the good fight. I personally learned a lot, and found the experience quite worthwhile. Mark Dreessen, High School Teacher University of Chicago Labratory High School Chicago, IL On November 2, 2001, Patrick Reynolds spoke to a group of about 2,000 students from Wausau West High School and Northland Lutheran High School in the Wausau West Fieldhouse. His presentation was a factual testimony about how the tobacco industry entices young people to start smoking, and the debilitating effects smoking or chewing tobacco can have on the human body. Based on how attentive the students were during his presentation, I would say his program was extremely effective. I would highly recommend that any school or other organization working with youth strongly consider having him give his presentation to their students. His message had an impact on our students, and his presentation style was extremely effective in holding students' interest and attention. The terrible effects of smoking or chewing are well documented from a scientific standpoint are well documented, but getting students to listen and act on that information is extremely difficult. He definitely provided our students with the facts in a way that will cause some of them to never take up the use of tobacco. If he ever needs a reference from a school administrator on the effectiveness of his program, I would be more than happy to write a reference letter. Paul Brusky, Principal Wausau West High School Wausau, WI Patrick Reynolds just completed his presentation at Wausau East High School. He presented to approximately 1200 students in an all school assembly. His presentation was outstanding. In addition to his important, lifesaving message, Mr. Reynolds' visual aides and his dynamic, emotional, and personal speaking style was captivating. For one solid hour, you could have heard a pin drop in our auditorium. Numerous staff and students stopped me after the presentation to compliment his message and delivery style. As principal, I highly recommend Mr. Patrick Reynolds to any high school in the state of Wisconsin. He is truly an outstanding speaker. Bradley J. Peck, Principal Wausau East High School Wausau, WI As the grandson of the founder of the R. J. Reynolds tobacco conglomerate, Patrick Reynolds brings a unique perspective to his anti-tobacco message. As he spoke to our students recently, his passion for healthy living was obvious. Because of these factors, his plea to youth to abstain from tobacco use is particularly meaningful. Students listen to his personal story of the confusion he felt as a youth upon the tobacco-influenced death of the father he barely knew. Speaking from such an acute experience lends credence to Patrick Reynolds's message. Randall C. Nichols Superintendent Clarksville Community School District Clarksville, IA On Thursday, November 8, 2001, Patrick Reynolds presented "The Truth About Tobacco" to over 1,000 students in grades 6 through 8, at the James Williams Junior High School in Rhinelander, Wisconsin. Today I had the opportunity ask students and staff their thoughts on Pat's presentation. The responses were extremely positive. Pat had several important messages for young people. He was able to keep their attention during the 35 minute presentation. His slides, enthusiasm and personal experiences helped to open their eyes and possibly change the direction many young people are choosing. We would recommend Patrick Reynolds to present in any similar type of situation. Thank you Patrick Reynolds... you're doing the right thing! Mr. Dave Wall, Principal James Williams Junior High School Rhinelander, WI Patrick Reynolds was a guest speaker at my school district on Tuesday, November 6, 2001. Students in grades 6-12 attended the presentation. Mr. Reynolds held the students attention for the 1hr. 10 min. program... He kept everyone's interest... I would recommend his presentation for all school age students. Thanks. Jim Hansen, Principal Laona School District Laona, WI Mr. Patrick Reynolds gave an inspirational and sincere presentation to the Park Falls School students and staff on being tobacco-free. We greatly appreciated his efforts, message, humor, professionalism, and the 'down to earth' approach he personally exhibited. Dennis F. Dervetski, Principal Park Falls High School Park Falls WI
Additional Information:

 Patrick Reynolds is a grandson of the tobacco company founder, R.J. Reynolds, but the family's brands, Camel and Winston, killed his father and eldest brother.

This nationally known smokefree advocate is a popular motivational speaker at schools, hospitals and colleges around the nation.

Hospital Marketing Directors frequently sponsor his talks, in part because press coverage of his appearances is strong and positive. This acclaimed program builds goodwill for sponsors, and is an excellent outreach for hospitals. See what hospitals and others are saying.

Why not make one brief call to a likely local sponsor? See our Five Minute Plan with talking points.

"In a little over an hour, Reynolds went from being just another anti-tobacco speaker to something special," commented a front page story in one local paper. See recent news coverage . 

"Within the first five minutes, I was amazed to watch Patrick Reynolds create an extraordinary bond with our school's culturally diverse and economically underprivileged teens," said Hali Rosen, a teacher at Hawthorne (CA) High.

"After his opening story about his own father's absence, and the sadness and anger he felt as a youth because of it, he asked the students, 'How many of you do not have your biological fathers living at home with you?' When over 50% of the audience slowly raised their hands, our students seemed to realize that these shared emotions cross all economic and social borders -- and a bond was formed.

"After that, the students listened quietly and respectfully, and I could see real interest in their faces, as they related to his overheads and the moving stories he told, so very effectively and skillfully."

Click for more feedback from recent clients, from teachers, hospitals, health departments and college faculty.