School Library Journal
The complete review of The Truth About Tobacco
Published in the October, 2000 issue
Patrick Reynolds’ father died from the product that made the family fortune — cigarettes. In this program, Reynolds, grandson of tobacco company founder R.J. Reynolds and an anti-smoking advocate and renowned speaker, addresses a high school audience.
His dynamic presentation is enlivened by videos, posters, and overhead slides. Amusing and effective take-offs of popular cigarette ads catch the audience’s attention. After a few personal comments, he tells students how pernicious and effective cigarette advertising is.
Ads are directed toward youngsters because the industry know that this is the age when most smokers start. Once they begin, many become addicted and find it difficult or impossible to give up the habit.
Students are reminded of the injurious and deadly effects of tobacco. They hear suggestions about how to deal with friends and family members who smoke.
The second half of the program begins with the story of a young track star who was disfigured by and then died of the effects of chewing tobacco. Reynolds talks about reasons teens smoke including the desire to escape from painful or unpleasant feelings and concerns about the future. He offers more effective suggestions for dealing with life’s difficulties.
This production, with its humor and varied format, is a powerful reminder of all the reasons to avoid tobacco and a useful resource for drug/ tobacco education programs in middle and high schools. The website, www.notobacco.org, provides follow-up information, tips on quitting, art, and an index of smoke free teen sites.
By Anitra Gordon
Lincoln High School, Ypsilanti, Michigan