R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company
Learn more about corporations VOTING to rewrite our laws.
R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. is the manufacturer of four of the United States' 10 highest-selling cigarette brands: Winston, Camel, Salem and Doral. Other RJR brands include Vantage, Excel, Jacks, Monarch, More, Sterling. RJR is also the manufacturer of Prince Albert pipe tobacco. 
Reynolds American, Inc. is the parent company of R.J. Reynolds, according to Reynolds American's Web site. In 2010, R.J. Reynolds had total revenues of $8.6 billion and a Net Income of $1.1 billion. Its CEO, Daniel Delen, made $6.2 million the same year.
Support for the American Legislative Exchange Council
Reynolds is on the corporate ("Private Enterprise") board of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) as of 2011. David Powers, RJR's Vice President of State Government Relations, is Reynolds American's representative on the corporate board. He is also the International Relations Task Force Co-Chair as of 2011. Randy Tompson, Senior Director of Legislative Policy & Advocacy at RJR, received ALEC's 2011 Private Sector Member of the Year Award in August 2011.
ALEC is a corporate bill mill. It is not just a lobby or a front group; it is much more powerful than that. Through ALEC, corporations hand state legislators their wishlists to benefit their bottom line. Corporations fund almost all of ALEC's operations. They pay for a seat on ALEC task forces where corporate lobbyists and special interest reps vote with elected officials to approve “model” bills. Learn more at the Center for Media and Democracy's ALECexposed.org, and check out breaking news on our PRWatch.org site.
Recent Political Contributions
In 2010, Reynolds American's PAC gave a total $430,820 to politicians: $397,800 to Republicans and $33,000 to Democrats.
In 2008, a total of $7.3 million was contributed to politicians and pro-corporate PACs.
RJR Corporate Projects and Operations
- Project SCUM (Marketing cigarettes to gay, immigrants, young and homeless people)
- Project Breakthrough(Campaign to equate tobacco control efforts with Prohibition in the public mind)
- Project DB (Leveraging youth's psychological need for peer acceptance to target young males)
- Project BHM (Black, Hispanic, Military)
- Partisan Project(To create smokers rights groups throughout U.S.)
- R.J. Reynolds Social Responsibility Project (Circa 1984, sought to make smoking more socially acceptable)
Notable RJR PR documents
Letter to 5th grade class, 1972
A 1972 letter from T. K. Cahill of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company's public relations department was apparently written in response to a 5th grade elementary school class in Santa Monica, California, who wrote the company to protest a Winston cigarette advertisement that appeared in the Los Angeles Times. In the letter, Cahill assures the children that cigarette advertising is not directed at youth, but also tells them that "medical science has not found any conclusive evidence that an element in tobacco or tobacco smoke causes any human disease." (The first major Surgeon General's report definitively linking cigarette smoking with disease was issued in 1964, eight years before this letter was written). Then, in a classic example of the industry's use of the Council for Tobacco Research for public relations purposes, Cahill tells the children that,
... in a sincere attempt to determine what harmful effects, if any, smoking might have on human health, established The Council for Tobacco Research ... The answers to the many unanswered smoking and health questions -- and the true causes of human diseases -- can, we believe, be determined by scientific research. Our Company intends, therefore, to continue to support such research until the truth is known."
Secondhand smoke strategy paper, 1994
A 1994 strategy paper from R.J. Reynolds (RJR) reveals the cigarette maker harbored a combative attitude towards public efforts to address problems posed by secondhand smoke. RJR says, "Federal agencies, Congress and state and local governments are pursuing increasingly aggressive regulatory measures to limit exposure to second-hand smoke, citing an alleged risk or hazard to the non-smoking public ... The stakes for RJRT and the industry have never been higher. We need to act immediately ... And we need to join the battle or engage the enemy on as many fronts as possible."
The plan lists strategies for fighting public health efforts on the secondhand smoke issue, including convincing the public that "there is a controversy, case is not closed," that "your lifestyle could be next," and substituting the term "prohibition" for "smoking ban" in all communications; convening "a high-level think tank of philosophers, professors, scientific ethicists, sociologists, historians, economists, psychologists ... to provide new ideas on the issue;" recruiting minority groups, hospitality associations, labor unions, libertarian groups and labor unions as tobacco industry allies on the secondhand smoke issue.
A handwritten notation on the document's second page poses the question, "Do we have sufficient information to prove that smoker segregation is sufficient to eliminate NS [nonsmoker] risk--perceived or otherwise?" This reveals that RJR planned to advocate mere segregation of smokers in enclosed spaces without fully knowing whether such action really provides adequate health protection to nonsmokers.
RJR also proposes using joke books, cartoons, tabloids and country/rap songs as vehicles to disseminate the company's messages about secondhand smoke.
The cigarette maker further planned to put on its own "science and policy forum" about secondhand smoke to highlight "improper use of science" and "call for responsible use of science in formulating policy." RJR proposed that the forum "could be held in Washington, D.C. and sponsored by an institute or reputable think tank," to lend prestige and obscure tobacco industry involvement in the event. In formulating plans for the forum, RJR cites what it believes to be misguided previous public health issues:
"An overview of examples of where issues were driven by flawed science...such as... pesticides, asbestos, ozone depletion, acid rain and resource depletion."
Officers of Reynolds American include:
- Daniel Delen, President - Chief Executive Officer
- Thomas R. Adams, Executive Vice President and CFO of Reynolds American, Executive Vice President, CFO and Chief Information Officer of RAI Services Company
- Nicholas A. Bumbacco, President of Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company, Inc.
- Lisa J. Caldwell, Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer of Reynolds American, RAI Services Company
- Walton T. Carpenter, Senior Vice President - Strategy and Planning of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company
- Robert H. Dunham, Senior Vice President - Public Affairs of Reynolds American, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company and RAI Services Company
- Jeffery S. Gentry, Executive Vice President - Operations and Chief Scientific Officer of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company
- Andrew D. Gilchrist, President and Chief Commercial Officer of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company
- Daniel J. Herko, Senior Vice President - Research & Development of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company
- Tommy L. Hickman, Senior Vice President - Operations of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company
- Martin L. Holton III, Executive VP, General Counsel and Assistant Secretary of Reynolds American and RAI Services Company, Executive VP and General Counsel of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco
- J. Brice O'Brien, Executive Vice President - Consumer Marketing of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company
- Tommy J. Payne, President, Niconovum USA
- Robert D. Stowe, Executive Vice President - Trade Marketing of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company
- E. Kenan "Ken" Whitehurst, Senior Vice President - Strategy and Business Development of Reynolds American
- Susan B. Wilson, Senior Vice President - Risk and Compliance Services for Reynolds American
Consumer Relations Department
P. O. Box 2959
Winston-Salem, NC 27102
- Smith W. Bagley - heir
- C. Boyden Gray
- Front groups
- James Alexander Gray
- Lyons Gray
- Non-Smoker Protection Committee
- R.J. Reynoods' Project Breakthrough
- R.J. Reynolds' Project SCUM
- Robert Davis McCallum, Jr.
- Smoke Less Ohio
- Tobacco industry front groups
- Charles River
- The Works: Project PR
- Truth Campaign Project Scum Website
- Laura Wides-Munoz, "Activists: Tobacco Targets Hispanic Kids," Associated Press, November 17, 2005.
- Harlan Spector, "Reynolds supports your right to puff: Company seeks smoking amendment", The Plain Dealer, April 29, 2006.
- Steve Hartsoe, "Firm tries to snuff out smoking bans: Cigarette maker Reynolds American plans to spend $40 million to fight anti-tobacco measures on Nov. ballots", The Detroit News, July 28, 2006.
- "RJR gave $10 million to help fight California tax", Winston Salem Journal, September 19, 2006.
- Matt Comer, "Stamp of Approval: Gay researcher questions Human Rights Campaign‚Äôs perfect rating of Reynolds Tobacco Co.", Q-Notes (Charlotte, NC), March 21, 2009.
- RJ Reynolds, Brand Introduction, Alphabetically, Tobacco Library document, October 3, 2001
- Reynolds American, Home, corporate website, accessed July 9, 2011
- Reynolds American Inc. Financials, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, accessed July 9, 2011
- Executive Profile: Daniel M. Delen, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, accessed July 9, 2011
- American Legislative Exchange Council, Private Enterprise Board, organizational website, accessed July 8, 2011
- American Legislative Exchange Council, "International Relations," organization website, accessed June 29, 2011
- American Legislative Exchange Council, "Solutions for the States," 38th Annual Meeting agenda, on file with CMD, August 3-6, 2011
- Reynolds America Summary, "Open Secrets"
- 2006 PAC Summary Data, Open Secrets, accessed July 2007.
- Reynolds American lobbying expenses, Open Secrets.
- T.K. Cahill, R.J. Reynolds Public Relations Department The letters you and other members of your class wrote to various officials of our Company regarding a WINSTON ad you saw in the Los Angeles Times have come to this department for reply. Letter. 1 page. April 7, 1972. Bates No. 500671015
- R.J. Reynolds Secondhand-Smoke Plan Report. April 6, 1994. 4 pages. Bates No. 512046746/6749
- Reynolds American, Reynolds American Inc. Leadership Team, corporate website, accessed July 9, 2011
This article may include information from Tobacco Documents Online.
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