Nationally known anti-tobacco speaker Patrick Reynolds
addressed students at Stephenville High School on Friday
ANGELIA JOINER photo
November 14, 2006
‘Tobacco took my dad away’
Patrick Reynolds, nationally known anti-tobacco
speaker, attended a breakfast in Granbury Monday morning and was
surprised that attendees were smoking.
“That’s just not
something I’m used to,” Reynolds said. “I live in California where
there is a state wide smoking ban in restaurants, bars and
Reynolds created The Foundation for a Smokefree
America and spoke at Stephenville High School Monday afternoon at a
special assembly for freshman and sophomores, a group of about
Reynolds talked to the students about family members he
had lost from tobacco related illnesses. He said he didn’t see his
father growing up very much but remembered him lying on a bed
gasping for breath and asking what was wrong. He said his father
said he had asthma. He remembered asking his father if his illness
had anything to do with smoking.
Reynolds said his father
later died from emphysema, not asthma.
“Tobacco took my dad
away from me. That’s why I have turned my back on the R.J. Reynolds
Company to educate you on the dangers of tobacco,” he
In a personal interview, Reynolds said his father
inherited 10’s of millions in the depression and did not work. He
said his father let the money work for him. He gave most of the
fortune to charities and did not leave his children a huge fortune
“My father felt the money had affected him in
a negative way and did not wish the same for us,” Reynolds said.
“What money I did inherit, I lost most of it in a failed stop
smoking program. It was the best thing that ever happened, I needed
to sharpen up and go to work. I’m at peace with it.”
explained to students how the tobacco companies target kids in their
ads and showed examples.
“How stupid do they think you are?”
Reynolds had two students role play ways they could
approach their parents to stop smoking.
Kathy Swindle of Star
Council said the Erath Coalition paid Reynolds’ travel expenses and
Wal-Mart Supercenter, Stephenville Optimists, Harris Methodist-Erath
County Hospital and Allstate Insurance paid the $1500 speaking
Reynolds spoke earlier in the day at Granbury High
School and his appearance there was sponsored by Star Council’s