Update as of August 6, 2000: Bush administration would not continue the Justice Department’s suit against the tobacco industry
e-mail: · 8117 W Manchester Ave Suite 500 · Playa del Rey CA 90293
Tel. (310) 577-9828
September 23, 1999
Reynolds Tel: (310) 577-9828 office (310) 880-1111 cellular
RE: FEDERAL LAWSUIT AGAINST THE TOBACCO INDUSTRY
WHO: Patrick Reynolds,
A grandson of tobacco company founder R.J. Reynolds, he became an anti-smoking
advocate and founded Tobaccofree.Org in 1986, after his father, R.J. Reynolds,
Jr., died from emphysema, caused by smoking his family’s brands.
WHERE: No press conference;
call for interview.
WHAT: Comments below.
In the recent tobacco settlement with the States, remember that it wasn’t Congress who brought Big Tobacco to heel. It was the judicial branch of government, our court system, because many in Congress have been demonstrably influenced by Big Tobacco’s donations.
The reality is, Congress has done next to nothing to regulate big tobacco. Congress has passed no Federal workplace smoking law, no laws limiting youth sales or tobacco advertising,
and no meaningful Federal cigarette tax increase. The reason? Our present system of campaign finance.
So our court system has been our best, and perhaps only, means of ensuring that fewer of our children become addicted to smoking in the future.
Many Americans feel that smokers should be accountable for the damages they brought on themselves by the choice to smoke. If so, does that mean we should let the tobacco industry go unaccountable for their part? They targeted kids in ad campaigns, and failed to warn of the addictiveness of their products. They said that smoking doesn’t cause disease.
I believe in a formula of shared accountability between smokers and the tobacco industry, with big tobacco bearing the majority of the responsibility.
Let’s remember that for most smokers, there is far less choice in the matter of whether to smoke than they — and big tobacco — have been telling themselves.
Many anti-tobacco advocates feel that this lawsuit has been filed too late, and that by the time it goes into settlement negotiations, there may be a Republican president in power. And we know that will very likely mean a chief who is far friendlier to big tobacco than a Democratic President would be.
Press materials and bio are at www.tobaccofree.org/photos.