Youth Activists from around the Country Demonstrate at
Reynolds American Shareholders Meeting in Winston-Salem


May 6, 2008

Anna White, Essential Action
202) 413-9656

Morgan Wittman, Youth Empowered Solutions
(919) 308-8800

Teenagers from Eleven States to Demonstrate
at Reynolds American Shareholders Meeting

Youth Angered by Manipulative Marketing Tactics Aimed at their Peers

Winston-Salem, N.C. – Reynolds American is again trying to addict kids totobacco. That's the message youth from around the country will deliver at the tobacco giant's annual shareholder meeting today. More than 50 teenagers from tobacco control groups across the country plan on protesting new, high-profile marketing campaigns from Reynolds designed to make smoking appear hip and glamorous.

“These exploitive tactics hook young people into a lifetime of addiction to a product that kills if used as intended,” said Morgan Wittman of North Carolina’s Youth Empowered Solutions. “Ending the tobacco epidemic requires that tobacco companies stop recruiting a new generation of customers.”

Youth advocates, from as far away as Hawaii, will greet shareholders as they enter and exit the annual meeting along North Main Street, and share their views on the company’s aggressive peddling of death to their

“It is appalling to learn the deceitful tactics of Big Tobacco to target youth as replacement smokers through advertisement," said Kristy Ordonez, a Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids representative from Oklahoma. “Knowledge of tobacco companies needs to be spread and we are here to do it!"

Each year tobacco companies – such as Reynolds American – spend billions of dollars marketing their products. Just last year the cigarette manufacturer introduced its new Camel No. 9 blend of cigarettes with an advertising campaign equating smoking with glamour, sophistication and beauty. The marketing also implies that Camel No. 9’s “light and luscious” flavor, as it is described on the hot pink and black packaging, is not as risky as regular cigarettes.

Slick ads for Camel No. 9 ran in magazines popular with girls, including Vogue, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire and InStyle. Promotional giveaways include berry lip balm, cell phone jewelry, purses and wristbands, all in hot pink.

“The truth is that Reynolds American’s long history of marketing cigarettes has been devastating to our country’s health,” said Anna White of the corporate accountability group Essential Action. “The company that once marketed tobacco with the Joe Camel cartoon character is doing it again by branding its newest product as a stylish female accessory.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cigarette smoking is the single most preventable cause of premature death in the U.S. Each year more than 400,000 Americans die from cigarette smoking. In fact, one in every five deaths in the U.S. is smoking related.

Groups that are participating in the demonstration include: Y.E.S. Team from Arkansas; Communities Under Siege from California; REAL from Hawaii; Just Eliminate Lies (JEL) from Iowa; reACT from Montana; No Limits from
Nebraska; Youth Empowered Solutions from North Carolina; and youth representatives from the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.

For more information, including photos of Reynolds American Inc’s cigarette promotions, go to:

Participating Groups:
Y.E.S. (Youth Extinguishing Smoking) Team (AR) • Communities Under Siege/Ursa Institute (CA) • Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids (DC) • Essential Action (DC) • REAL (HI) • Just Eliminate Lies (IA) • reACT! (MT) • Youth Empowered Solutions (NC) No Limits (NE)