Patrick Reynolds is one of my heroes.
Grandson of tobacco tycoon, R.J. Reynolds, Patrick Reynolds
has spent the last 20 years of his life trying to stop big tobacco in its tracks by raising the awareness of those who can really make a difference in the tobacco industry’s future –- our youth. He knows the secret that marketing executives working for the tobacco companies would prefer we didn’t think about: Without new smokers continually joining the ranks of the addicted, the tobacco industry would dry up and go out of business.
A Talk With Your Kids About Not Smoking
In Reynolds’ new video production, A Talk With Your Kids About Smoking, he shares some startling facts up front: In the United States today, an average of 3,000 people quit smoking and another 1,200 die from smoking every single day of the year. With statistics like that, the tobacco industry must always be working to gain new recruits. That means finding ways to addict our teens, many of whom start smoking by 14 and more often than not become addicted by the time they’re 19.
Geared toward teens and their folks, this video reviews a number of issues and facts about smoking that will help our kids see and understand the bigger picture...one in which they are the target of a huge, money hungry industry. From the disease that follows nicotine addiction to the deceptive marketing practices employed by big tobacco, Reynolds delivers a compelling speech, punctuated with powerful anti-smoking TV spotlights.
Image Courtesy of Tobaccofree.org
Reynolds speaks with an easy manner that all age groups can relate to. He covers a broad spectrum of issues including:
- How tobacco advertising targets teens and why.
- The nature of nicotine addiction.
- The dangers of secondhand smoke.
- Anti-smoking campaigns and legislation, including numerous striking video clips.
- Why the tobacco industry has been able to advertise a product that, when used as directed, kills.
- The importance of living a drug-free life and how to go about doing that.
A Young Life Lost to Tobacco
Reynolds also details the tragic story of Sean Marsee
, a teen who lost his life to oral cancer before the age of 20 because he chewed tobacco. Using before and after pictures of this young man, the audience of nearly 1,000 teens attending Reynolds’ seminar are visibly shaken by what they hear and see.
A Bright Future
The video wraps up with a positive message of empowerment for our young people. Reynolds speaks of hope and high expectations. He delivers a message that our health and happiness, and not money or material belongings, make us rich and give us the potential for a fulfilling life. Finally, he reflects on the good he sees coming for us all in the 21st century, making the point that we’ll need our health in order to be a part of that.
It Takes a Village
Statistics tell us that our kids are still picking up the habit at the rate of 3,000 a day in the United States today. It is imperative that we educate our teens about the hazards of smoking and clue them in on the tactics big tobacco uses to lure them into the web of nicotine addiction. Kudos to Reynolds for the work he’s doing to that end.
Knowledge is Power As parents, we are the most influential force in our children's lives. Take some time soon to sit down and watch Reynolds' new video, A Talk With Your Kids About Smoking with your teen or pre-teen. And using the discussion guide that comes with the DVD, talk honestly with your child about smoking. Let's do our part to empower our kids to say no to tobacco and yes to a smoke-free future.