This video clip from The Truth About Tobacco, 2011 Edition includes award-winning TV spots intercut with Patrick Reynolds' powerful live talk to 1,000 teens. In the opening TV ad, which won a Cleo, a prestigious advertising industry award, Reynolds questions the dangerous ingredients in the cigarettes his family makes. He is highly persuasive in explaining how extremely addictive nicotine is, and concludes this section saying, "Find more original ways to express who you are."
Using more PSA's and slides of recent tobacco ads, Mr. Reynolds says the cigarette companies have gone after teens in order to replace the 1,200 customers who die from smoking each day, and the 3,000 more who quit each day. Patrick shows tobacco ads which clearly target youth, and explains the unconscious mind by telling the classic, simple story of Dr. Pavlov and his dog.
Reynolds then points out, "Tobacco ads build a powerful link in the unconscious mind between smoking and images like rugged, masculine cowboys, and strong, independent women. Both are role models for who? You! Our boys and girls."
He shows a slide portraying "Malboro Country" as a few smokers "outside a building, huddled in the cold, smoking to get their fix of nicotine."
Graphics in the video point out that 28 States have banned smoking Statewide from all bars and restaurants, as of 2010. Mr. Reynolds emphasizes that second hand smoke is dangerous, adding that today, 4 out of five Americans are non-smokers. "Today, being a non-smoker is the norm. So be a smokefree individual who's making a choice to not smoke."
Patrick Reynolds discusses smoking in movies, and recalls RJ Reynolds' cartoon camel, Joe Camel, which so aggressively targeted teens, and appealed to children as well. "We all remember the cartoon camel, from when you were this high," he says.
In this clip he also shows footage of film stars smoking on screen, and even the paid placement of the Marlboro logo in the film Superman II. Reynolds' aim is to empower youth to be aware that movie stars who glamorize smoking onscreen are setting a bad example for kids.
Reynolds next shows several ads which used the cartoon icon Joe Camel, and then switches gears and introduces the audience to "Joe Chemo," a spoof cartoon camel lying down in a hospital bed, then walking with an IV bag, and finally in a coffin.
Repeatedly called the most powerful part of the video, the story of Sean Marsee is useful with younger children as well as teens.
Patrick Reynolds opens this section on dip tobacco with photos of people with dip-caused mouth and jaw cancer. He explains how the tobacco industry re-popularized chewing tobacco after a long slide in popularity. First they paid baseball players endorsement fees -- role models for boys who idolized them. They the tobacco companies began paying stores a monthly fee to keep dip tobacco displays on countertops, making it look like a normal and popular product. Kids didn't know the countertop displays were paid advertising. They even placed the dip tobacco on front counters, at child eye level, right next to the candy, where kids would be sure to see them.
Mr. Reynolds then tells the touching, sad story of Sean Marsee, the high school track star who died at 19 from dip tobacco. He shows before and after photos.
In a time of heightened teen worry about the future, with news stories on the poor economy, new diseases like SARS, AIDs or Swine Flu, global warming, terrorist attacks and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, some students might conclude, "Why not smoke or drink? There's no future for me."
In this section, Mr. Reynolds aims to give students new hope and inspiration to believe in the future. He tells them to talk about their feelings to another person, to think positive, and to "reevaluate what real wealth is. He concludes, "Catch my faith, my rock solid faith, that the future will be incredible. So hold on to your health, and don't smoke, don't drink, and don't use drugs, because you'll need your health in the wondrous, amazing years ahead of us, in this 21st Century of ours!"
Mr. Reynolds offers his initiation into life, rooted in ancient tradition. "Thousands of years ago," he says, "the elders in nearly every tribe around the world would take teens out into the forest or desert, and make their lives pretty uncomfortable for a few days. It was as though they were saying to the young ones, 'Until now, you've been a child, and we adults have tried to shield your eyes from the pain and evil in the world. But today I will gently open your eyes to the reality that there's bad in the world — and that life brings everyone some painful moments and obstacles.
"It's by staying with whatever difficulty life throws at us that we heal, and solve our problems — not by running away. But many adults escape their pain with cigarettes, alcohol, or drugs, which will destroy their future. Many use normally harmless things like watching TV, eating something or even going to work.
"Instead, when problems arise, don't alter you mood by running away to these. Stay with your problem, and talk to others about it — a trusted teacher, your parents, the school counselor, your friends. Stay with the problem, and talk to someone. You're initiated now — and a little closer now to the world of adults."
Mr. Reynolds concludes the video saying, "I have a vision and a promise: one day we will have a society free of tobacco. The tobacco-free society is coming!"