Who We Are
Foundation for a Smokefree America was founded in 1989 by Patrick
Reynolds, a grandson of the founder of the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco
Company. A former pack-a-day smoker, Patrick saw his father, oldest
brother and other relatives die from cigarette-induced emphysema,
heart disease and cancer.
Concerned about the widespread death, disease, and emotional and
economic hardship caused by tobacco, Patrick Reynolds divested his
RJR stock, quit smoking and became, in the words of former Surgeon
General C. Everett Koop, "one of the nation's most influential
advocates of a smokefree America."
Since first speaking out publicly in 1986, Mr. Reynolds has testified
before Congress, as well as State and municipal legislatures, on
a wide range of tobacco issues. His actions have earned him the
praise and admiration of his colleagues, including the World Health
Organization, which honored him in 1988, and the Mount Sinai Hospital
Group of Chicago, which named him "Humanitarian of the Year"
Patrick Reynolds' name, his story and his dedication to improving
the health of present and future generations make him a unique and
powerful spokesman against smoking.
year since founding The Foundation for a Smokefree America, Mr.
Reynolds has spoken before dozens of universities, high and middle
schools, and before numerous health conferences and medical forums.
The press has been invited to the great majority of his talks, and
his appearances have received wide and very positive coverage in
print and broadcast media. In this way he has helped build excellent
goodwill for the Foundation.
Mr. Reynolds was partly motivated by the deaths of his father and
other family members from tobacco use, and partly by his own ten
year struggle to break an addiction to cigarettes. He has noted
that, "When my grandfather began manufacturing cigarettes at
the turn of the century, he did not know that smoking causes lung
disease, heart disease and cancer. Now that this has been absolutely
proven, I want to help people wake up to how addictive and poisonous
Since beginning his tobacco free advocacy work in 1986, Mr. Reynolds
has had nearly one thousand media interviews in over 250 cities
and in Europe, and has given numerous lectures before schools, colleges,
and health organizations. The organization has a mailing list of
ten thousand names nationally.
All of this has been accomplished with part-time staff and a small
home office. The successes to date have been based on the dedication
and knowledge of the founder, Patrick Reynolds, and on the public
response to his concerns.
response to Patrick Reynolds' work, and resulting interest in The
Foundation for a Smokefree America, has been tremendous. Recent
media coverage of Mr. Reynolds' lectures and news conferences includes
articles in the Los Angeles Times, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal,
Chicago Tribune, The New York Times, New York Daily News, Denver's
Rocky Mountain News, Arizona's Republic, Time, Newsweek, U.S. News
and World Report, Associated press, Germany's Der Stern, Japan's
Shinbun, and more. Mr. Reynolds has also recently appeared on The
today Show, Good Morning America, CNN Headline News, Larry King
Live, ABC World News, CNBC and many other prestigious television
The Foundation for a Smokefree America has had success as a volunteer
based organization. As a consequence of Mr. Reynolds' lectures,
television and radio appearances, hundreds of callers who read about
or saw Mr. Reynolds have phoned in to make donations or volunteer
time to The Foundation for a Smokefree America. Many of them are
now assisting the organization, or are on standby to give of their
time and professional skills. Their addresses, phone numbers and
skills are always captured and entered into our data base. Callers
are often referred to local organizations in their own cities, fighting
for a particular issue the caller is interested in.
But public response has overwhelmed the capacities of a volunteer-run
organization. The Board of Directors and Patrick Reynolds know it
is time to hire additional staff for the organization. Because of
his commitment, for the first ten years, Reynolds allowed the organization
to operate out of his own modest home. This is a man whose work
is worthy of support; and the potential for the organization is
more detailed information, please
see our Programs and Statements of Support.