The Truth about Tobacco
The Truth About Tobacco
Hosted by motivational speaker
The Truth About Tobacco is a multimedia presentation which helps youth stay tobacco free, and resist the onslaught of tobacco advertising and peer pressure. Mr. Reynolds' anti-smoking talk also motivates students to make more responsible choices about drugs and alcohol, and offers clear examples of how to say no to friends who drink, smoke or use drugs. He also stresses the importance of talking about problems, and not isolating.
A personal story
Mr. Reynolds opens the video with a moving personal story about his own father's death from smoking, when he was 15. This opens the hearts of many young viewers, and makes them more receptive to the anti-tobacco lessons which follow in the video.
Smoking is addictive
Mr. Reynolds impresses on students the extreme addictiveness of nicotine. "If I could give you one message today, it would be that cigarettes are addictive. Once you start, you may not be able to stop...."
What if cigarette advertising told the the truth?
The video opens students' eyes to the reality of tobacco ad campaigns which have targeted them. Mr. Reynolds uses humorous anti-smoking spoofs of cigarette ads, such as Joe Camel, dying from cancer in a hospital bed. In the new video, he shows the three overheads below.
Anti-smoking art by Adbusters
About the anti-smoking "Malboro Country" ad above, he points out, "Here we see smokers gathered outside their office. Why? Because they aren't welcome inside the building. Today, being a nonsmoker is the norm. If you smoke, you're often just not welcome around other people."
this powerful section, Mr. Reynolds shows the three anti-tobacco
overheads below. The before-and-after photos of Sean Marsee are
especially powerful and moving to student audiences watching the
video. In this section, Mr. Reynolds tells Sean's story, from
the time when he was a popular high school athlete, to discovering
his cancer, through the three operations which followed, each
removing more of his tongue, nose, jaw and neck muscles. He concludes,
"Sean died at age 19 from chewing tobacco -- disfigured, sad and
in terrible, unspeakable pain." Telling this heartbreaking story
is one of the most memorable parts of the video, and it consistently
captivates high school and middle school audiences. Several health
teachers have commented that Sean's story has had a strong and
lasting impact on their students.
The above photos are shown in the video,
as Sean Marsee's sad story is told.
Students in the video react when they see
the photo of Sean with mouth cancer.
After telling this story, Mr. Reynolds goes on to reveal that the only reason self-service displays of tobacco have been placed on countertops everywhere is because the tobacco companies pay each store a monthly fee, for every display of tobacco. Often chewing tobacco is placed next to the candy or chewing gum!
The truth is, just a few years ago, almost noone was using chewing tobacco. But many thousands of kids were deceived, and concluded the stores put the displays on counters because the product was really popular and selling well.
Seeing these displays daily for years, right on the countertop at child eye level, made tobacco look like any other normal product. Eventually these displays of "spit tobacco" got many teens' curiosity up. Thousands tried it, and then got addicted, like Sean.
A USA Today anti-smoking column wrote that Patrick Reynolds' presentation of Sean Marsee's story "was probably the most effective argument I found online."
Smoking in movies and TV
would not advocate censoring the movies," says Mr. Reynolds
in the video, "but let's deliver a dose of healthy shame
to Hollywood stars who have smoked in films." He names several
stars who have irresponsibly glamorized smoking on screen, and
creates a new perception of the stars who make smoking look cool
The Truth About Tobacco contains a unique initiation into life, to help prepare students to better deal with tough moments in their lives. Near the conclusion, Mr. Reynolds revives the ancient tradition of initiating youth. Mr. Reynolds says, "The core message of my brief initiation today is this: life brings everyone painful moments and obstacles. It's designed to be that way. It's by our struggles to succeed against adversity that we build our character, and define who we are. It's by staying with whatever difficulty life throws at us that we heal, and solve our problems — not by running away.
"Many adults run away from their pain by using cigarettes, food, alcohol, drugs, TV, or even work. A lot of teens use music. So the message of this initiation today is that when these moments come, don't escape into these. Instead, stay with your uncomfortable feelings, and begin to solve the problem. Do the work — don't take the easy path. Only a baby gets instant gratification! Adults have to delay it and wait for it….
"And don't isolate and do this alone. Talk about what's bothering you to your parents, a trusted teacher, or the school counselor. It's by talking about our difficulties to another person that we heal, and resolve problems. Life gets tough at times, but you can do it!"
"Your presentation went over very well. People remember concepts when emotional pictures are created and linked together to illustrate a point. This is what you do so well. When people are moved emotionally, they will remember, and they will take action. The audience loved this emotional link, as I did, with a splash of humor thrown in here and there. Nice touch. I was also impressed with your knowledge and delivery. Your presentation was sincere and heartfelt, as well as humorous and informative. For these reasons, it was most enjoyable."Kim Aumais
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WHY THIS ANTI-TOBACCO VIDEO IS UNIQUE
Tragically, from 1988 to 1998, there was a huge 73% upsurge in teen smoking. Why? What are the new factors are influencing today's teens? Mr. Reynolds addresses the most widely accepted causes of this huge increase in teen smoking, which are tobacco advertising campaigns targeting youth, and smoking by stars in movies and TV. He talks about smoking by Hollywood icons, and the attractive models in tobacco ads. He uses hilarious anti-smoking spoofs of cigarette ads, such as Joe Camel in a hospital bed. He shows heartbreaking before-and-after photos of Sean Marsee, who died from chewing tobacco at age 19 -- disfigured, sad and in pain. He strongly warns about the addictiveness of tobacco.
But he also devotes a four minute section of his video to a new issue, which no one has addressed before.
Mr. Reynolds believes the new worry among youth helped fuel the 1990's rise in teen smoking. In a recent paper for the Stanford University Medical Review, Mr. Reynolds advances a new theory. He points to 1994 market research by Coca-Cola, which shows that great numbers of young people suffer from "intense anxiety about the future, and an acute sense of diminished expectations." (Time, May 30, 1994) Today 50% of children ages 9-17 worry about dying young. (Yankelovitch Partners Study, Time, May 3, 1999) Believing they face bleak prospects, says Mr. Reynolds, many teens want to have fun now, before an uncertain future arrives. He believes this attitude has substantially contributed to the dramatic recent increase in the teen smoking rate, to increased drug use, and to the rise of binge drinking on college campuses. Since the video was made, teens' faith in the future has been further eroded by the tragic September 11th bombings in 2001.
Photo by Visible Light / Mickey Krakowski
To address this problem, he devotes five minutes in Part 2 of the new video to motivating youth to believe more strongly in the future. He makes five points. First, he teaches students to talk about their worries and doubts to a trusted teacher, the school counselor, their parents, and friends. Second, he teaches them to think more positively, and gives them real-life examples of positive thinking. Third, he asks the audience to reevaluate what real wealth is, and questions whether wealth is just about material things.
Fourth, he shares his own strong faith that the 21st century will be a truly extraordinary time. He concludes by sharing his own "rock-solid faith that the future holds wonderful things!" He rallies the audience to stay tobacco-free, drug-free and alcohol-free, and points out that, "You are going to need your health in the incredible years ahead. So don't throw your life away on cigarettes, drugs or alcohol! Be a citizen of the 21st century, not the 20th. Hold on to your health, for the amazing, wondrous years before us!"
Increasing students' faith in the future gives them a new reason to stay tobacco-free and drug-free, and helps motivate youth to hold on to their health. And now, in the aftermath of the September 11th attacks, this section has the added value of helping restore and heal worried students' shaken faith in the future.
An initiation into life to prepare students to better deal with tough moments in their lives. "The core message here is that at times, life brings everyone painful moments and obstacles," he says. "When these moments come, don't escape by using tobacco, drugs, alcohol, food or music. Instead, stay with your uncomfortable feelings, and begin to solve the problem. And don't isolate and do this alone. Talk about it to your parents, a trusted teacher, or the school counselor. It's by talking about our difficulties to another person that we heal, and resolve difficulties. Life gets tough at times, and you can do it!"
Emphasizes the addictiveness of nicotine
Opens students' eyes to tobacco advertising and how it can manipulate teens
Creates a new perception of smoking in TV and films by movie stars
Motivates teens to resist peer pressure to smoke
Offers clear examples of how to say no
Empowers students to make more responsible choices about drugs and alcohol
Stresses the importance of talking to others about problems, and not isolating
A lively mix of award-winning TV spots, live talk, film clips, photos and anti-smoking graphics
Divided into two 20 minute segments, to allow time for class discussion
Teacher's discussion guide included
Offers students a great website for follow-up study, www.notobacco.org
SECOND VIDEO, FREE WITH PURCHASE A separate, condensed version of the video, consisting of all six clips on our clips page, is included free with purchase. It may be paused between clips for class discussion. Clips average four to five minutes each.
Patrick Reynolds' appearances in the national media and before Congress have made this grandson of tobacco company magnate R.J. Reynolds an internationally known and respected anti-smoking advocate. Mr. Reynolds saw his father, oldest brother, and other relatives die from cigarette induced emphysema and lung cancer.
Concerned about the mounting health evidence against tobacco, in 1986 he became the first tobacco industry figure to turn his back on the cigarette companies. In the words of former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop, "Patrick Reynolds is one of the nation's most influential advocates of a smokefree America."
Mr. Reynolds founded The Foundation for a Smokefree America in 1989. The same year, his book, The Gilded Leaf, was published by Little, Brown. It is in now available in paperback, through iUniverse.com.
A dynamic motivational speaker, Mr. Reynolds entertains, educates and inspires audiences. Patrick Reynolds has addressed Congress, State legislatures, major associations, health conferences, universities, and numerous high and middle schools. His appearances in the international press include profiles by Time, Newsweek, AP, UPI, NBC's Tom Brokaw, CBS' Dan Rather, ABC World News, CNN Headline News, and numerous features by the world's major dailies. He has also made memorable TV appearances on Oprah, The Today Show, Good Morning America, CBS This Morning, Larry King, ABC's Nightline, Phil Donahue, Extra, Entertainment Tonight, and numerous other national and international television and radio shows. Mr. Reynolds has devoted his life to furthering the goal of a smokefree society, and to motivating young people to stay tobacco free.
In hundreds of live anti-tobacco talks before universities, and anti-smoking assembly programs before high and middle schools, he has reminded many thousands of students of the dangers of tobacco. This video captures and memorializes Patrick Reynolds' live talk for grades 7 - 12.
Full bio: www.tobaccofree.org/bio.htm
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