Patrick Reynolds, executive director of the Foundation for a Smokefree America, will give two free presentations at the College of Lake County on Tuesday, Jan. 26 in Room C005 (C Wing Auditorium) on the Grayslake Campus, 19351 W. Washington St.
Reynolds' presentations at 12 and 7 p.m., "Tobacco Wars! The Battle for a Smokefree Society," are designed to educate and inspire college staff and students, concerned citizens and those who work in corporations and healthcare organizations. Reynolds' talks were a key element of the implementation of a new or strengthened tobacco ban on corporate and university campuses.
A grandson of cigarette company founder R.J. Reynolds, he first spoke out publicly at a Congressional hearing in favor of a ban on all tobacco advertising in 1986. Former U.S. 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 watched his father, R.J. Reynolds, Jr., his oldest brother R.J. Reynolds III and other members of his family die from cigarette-induced emphysema and lung cancer. Concerned about the mounting health evidence, he began speaking out against the industry his family helped build. He founded the nonprofit Foundation for a Smokefree America in 1989 to motivate youth to stay tobacco free and empower smokers to quit successfully. On Sept. 19, 2015, the White House and President Obama presented Reynolds with the Lifetime Achievement Award.
"We are very excited to have Patrick Reynolds present to our students and community members," said Teresa Aguinaldo, CLC dean of Student Life. "He is an excellent speaker who understands firsthand the pain of losing loved ones to disease brought on by tobacco use; he wants to encourage others to combat addiction." Reynolds' presentation comes a year after CLC became a smoke-free campus, she said.
About one out of three people in the world are addicted to tobacco. As a result, in coming decades smoking may kill one billion people in this century, according to the U.N. World Health Organization. According to the American Lung Association, Illinois earns an "F" grade in three out of four tobacco control measures.
The presentations are co-sponsored by Student Activities and Health Services. For more information, contact CLC Student Activities at (847) 543-2280.