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Tobacco Heir to Speak Out Against Tobacco at Saint Francis Hospital

Patrick Reynolds Clears the Air on Smoking

EVANSTON, Ill., Feb. 3 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Saint Francis Hospital's keynote speaker at HeartFest 2010 will be Patrick Reynolds, grandson of  cigarette company founder R.J. Reynolds and president of the Foundation for a Smokefree America.  The keynote speech by Mr. Reynolds, a leading anti-smoking advocate, will be held Thursday, Feb. 18 at 1 p.m. in the auditorium at Saint Francis Hospital, 355 Ridge Avenue, Evanston, Ill.  Mr. Reynolds will discuss the dangers of tobacco in his address "Tobacco Wars: the Battle for a Smoke-free Society."  


Saint Francis Hospital's annual Heart Festival includes free health information, physician lectures, a healthy cooking demonstration, and free health screenings. The festival runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the hospital, with the keynote speaker beginning discussion promptly at 1 p.m.

About Patrick Reynolds

Patrick Reynolds lost his father, R.J. Reynolds, Jr., his oldest brother R.J. Reynolds III, his aunt and other family members due to cigarette-induced emphysema, heart disease, and lung cancer.  Concerned about the mounting health evidence against tobacco, he made the decision to speak out against the industry his family helped build.  From family tragedy, a passionate advocate emerged.

Former U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop said of him, "Patrick Reynolds is one of the nation's most influential advocates of a smoke-free America.  His testimony is invaluable to our society."  Patrick first spoke out publicly at a Congressional hearing in favor of a ban on all cigarette advertising in 1986.  Reynolds' advocacy work, motivational talks to youth and appearances in the press have made him a well-known and respected champion of a smoke-free society.  He has made numerous television appearances, including the Oprah Winfrey Show, The Today Show, Good Morning America, CBS This Morning, Larry King, ABC's Nightline, The Phil Donahue Show, Extra, Entertainment Tonight, and numerous other national and international television and radio shows.

In March 2009, Reynolds met in Washington, DC with Rep. Henry Waxman, a co-sponsor of the Congressional bill for FDA regulation of tobacco, to offer his support.  The bill passed both Houses, and President Obama signed the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act into law on June 22, 2009.

About Saint Francis Hospital

Saint Francis Hospital in Evanston, Ill. is a Level I Trauma Center with a long history of leadership and "firsts" in cardiac medicine and technologies. In the 1950s, Saint Francis Hospital performed the first cardiac bypass surgery in the Chicago metropolitan area; it was the first Accredited Chest Pain Center in Illinois and is the only Accredited Chest Pain Center on Chicago's North Shore; additionally, Saint Francis Hospital was the first hospital in the Midwest to offer a specialized, 64-slice 3-D Computed Tomography (CT) test for the heart; as well as the first hospital in the Midwest to use the cardiac marker Troponin to diagnose heart attacks.

Saint Francis Hospital ( is a part of Resurrection Health Care, a family of health care services providing advanced medical care and exceptional customer service with compassion and hope.  Our hospitals, nursing homes, retirement communities, home health services, behavioral health programs, and other services are conveniently located in many Chicago and suburban neighborhoods.  


Smoking is the single most preventable cause of death and disease:

  • Cigarettes cause more deaths than cocaine, auto accidents, AIDS, alcohol, heroin, fire, suicide and homicide combined (1)
  • Smokers die an average of 15 years earlier than nonsmokers
  • Smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer which kills more Americans every year than breast, colon and prostate cancer combined (2)
  • In 2010, lung cancer will kill more than 165,000 Americans (2)
  • In 2020, tobacco use will kill 6 million people from cancer, heart disease, emphysema and a range of other ills (3)

Cigarette smoking is the most important preventable cause of premature death in the United States:

  • Accounts for more than 440,000 of the more than 2.4 million annual deaths
  • Cigarette smokers have a higher risk of developing several chronic disorders including fatty buildups in arteries, several types of cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (lung problems)
  • Atherosclerosis (buildup of fatty substances in the arteries) is a chief contributor to the high number of deaths from smoking
  • Many studies detail the evidence that cigarette smoking is a major cause of coronary heart disease, which leads to heart attack. (4)

The societal costs of smoking include:

  • Over 1200 lives lost each day in the U.S.
  • Over 400,000 lives lost every year in the U.S.
  • $50 billion annually in lost productivity and increased health care costs
  • Worldwide, the toll exacted by tobacco use is one in every ten deaths
  • Of the world's 1.2 billion smokers, the World Health Organization estimates that 500 million of them will die because of smoking (5)

In most cases, the decision to smoke or start smoking is not made by adults:

  • 60% of smokers start by the age of 14
  • 90% of smokers are firmly addicted before reaching age 19.
  • Tobacco companies have spent over $4 billion annually on advertising, or $15 annually for every man, woman, and child in the country(6)

Former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop alerted the nation that nicotine is as addictive as heroin or cocaine. (6)

(1)  Foundation for a Smokefree America,

(2)  Lung Cancer Alliance,

(3)  American Cancer Society Study, Tobacco Atlas, August 25, 2009

(4)  American Heart Association,

Foundation for a Smokefree America,

(5)  ibid.

(6)  ibid.

SOURCE Saint Francis Hospital



SOURCE Saint Francis Hospital
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