Mr. Patrick Reynolds - Hero Speaks Out Against Smoking
Mr. Patrick Reynolds is one of the nation's most influential advocates of the anti-smoking movement. He has helped remind millions of people around the world of the dangers of this very addicting substance. A grandson of tobacco tycoon and cigarette manufacturer R.J. Reynolds and a former pack-a-day smoker, Patrick saw his father, oldest brother and other relatives die from cigarette-induced emphysema and lung cancer.
Concerned about the widespread death, disease and economic hardship caused by tobacco, Patrick first spoke out publicly in Congress against the tobacco industry in 1986. Soon he was asked, by the American Cancer Society, the American Lung Association and many others, to give presentations advocating smoking bans and new programs to prevent youths from starting. His powerful speeches, lectures as well as appearances in the media helped to pass early laws dividing restaurants into smoking and non-smoking sections. In 1987, he testified again in Congress, joining the many voices that helped bring about the first 2-hour ban of smoking on all US domestic flights. In 1989, he established the Foundation for a Smoke-Free America, based in Los Angeles, to educate people about the harms of smoking and tobacco use.
Mr. Reynolds’ actions have earned him the praise and admiration of the World Health Organization, which honored him with a special award in 1988, and Chicago's Mount Sinai Hospital Group, which named him Humanitarian of the Year in 1989.
Today, Patrick continues his advocacy and is a frequent lecturer at colleges, high schools and middle schools. He gives advice on how to quit this harmful habit-forming drug to audiences of all ages and backgrounds, and has successfully lobbied for bans on smoking in public places. His influence extends internationally as he pushes for higher taxes on cigarettes as well as free education and smoking cessation programs.
For his dedication to improving public health and helping enact anti-tobacco laws, Supreme Master Ching Hai granted Mr. Patrick Reynolds the Shining World Hero Award, which was presented to him by our Association members on April 4, Golden Year 6 (2009), in Los Angeles, California, USA. Upon accepting the beautiful Award plaque along with a custom-made HERO jacket, Mr. Reynolds said, “Supreme Master Ching Hai, thank You so much for recognizing our struggle against smoking. I hope to support the wonderful work that You are doing around the world to raise consciousness about global warming, about tobacco use, and the other good works that You are doing. I honor You and I recognize who You are in this world.”
We deeply thank you, Mr. Patrick Reynolds, for making it your life’s mission to campaign against smoking and to empower people to quit. We sincerely wish you all the best, with Heaven’s abundant grace, as you continue to inspire individuals around our planet now and for generations to come.