[Virginia GASP]   The 2007 shareholders' meeting of
                         Reynolds American Tobacco Company

The 2007 Reynolds American Tobacco Company shareholders' meeting
was held in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA,
on Friday, May 11th, 2007, 9:00 am Eastern Time,
in the Reynolds American Plaza Building at RAI's corporate offices, 
401 North Main Street,

and for the third year in a row, it was held in a smoke-free auditorium.

This 2007 meeting was not web cast, and
Reynolds does not provide a transcription except of the opening statement of beliefs by the CEO Susan Ivey. 

Therefore, the accounts below of the questions asked and the comments made in response by Susan Ivey
are given to best of the recollection of those contributing to this record.


    Reasons why activists  come to the meetings
    Company Beliefs -- Excerpts from the "We Believe" speech of Susan Ivey
        Nicotine statement, and Board Member's Reaction to Activist's Laugh  
    Questions and Comments
    End of Meeting
    Media -- Excerpts from the Winston-Salem Journal
    Other web sites reporting tobacco shareholder meetings


Reasons why activists come to these shareholder meetings:
Other  web pages in this web site discuss past shareholder meetings.
Basically, in the opinion of the editor of this web site, it boils down to this:

Activists come to the meetings out of a moral conviction, because they care about LIFE.  Life is important. Choice is important, and there is NO choice where addiction is concerned.

The tobacco industry is about DEATH and ADDICTION and the MONEY and POWER tobacco brings them over LIVES and NATIONS.

The money tobacco companies make can be used to infiltrate the economies of all nations of the world and dominate and control the lives and economies of the people within those countries. The motto of Philip Morris, after all, is "We came, we saw, we conquered."

Is it "evil" to continue to manufacture and market and promote products which you admit will addict and sicken and ultimately kill those who use these products, as well as their unborn, as well as those around them, as well as the environment? The answer is YES, it is evil -- it is immoral -- it is unethical -- it is wrong -- it is anti-life.

This is unhealthy, wrong, immoral, and destroys families, cultures, and the environment.  It eliminates land for farming food and growing forests. Wildlife, the soil, rivers, and ground water are all contaminated and destroyed by the runoff from tobacco factories, and by the chemicals used in growing tobacco.  The field and factory workers may be damaged through their contact with nicotine and the chemicals in the growing and the manufacturing process, and the radioactivity in the tobacco leaves. 

Responsible companies in the past have withdrawn or canceled their products which caused illness or death. But not the tobacco companies. Indeed, when activists in 2007 asked in a resolution to Philip Morris/Altria and in a question to Reynolds American that these tobacco companies be responsible and stop the addiction and deaths by ceasing their manufacture and marketing of tobacco products, this was refused absolutely by both companies.

A court of law (US Judge Gladys Kessler, August, 2006) has already found them guilty of deceiving the public and their consumers, and of violating racketeering laws.  Philip Morris/Altria and Reynolds American -- tobacco companies -- are adjudicated racketeers. 

And now the tobacco executives and their companies are seeking to rent even more scientists to make it appear that they want to lessen the destruction of the tobacco products.

They also are renting former health spokespersons to help legislate a rating of tobacco products as to which product will kill the consumer more slowly.

Someday, in a court somewhere, tobacco executives will be judged for all their crimes

against life in general,
against people -- including their own employees and their customers,

against the unborn,
against the land that could have grown food for the hungry, and forests for the wildlife,
against the bees (nicotine as insecticide) and other wildlife,
against the streams and waters, and the environment.

In the meantime, the activists come to speak out against the immorality and evil of the tobacco industry, and to work for justice, for life.

The scene is set.
    The RJ Reynolds building where the meeting is held is not the factory, but a plush, executive offices building in the heart of Winston-Salem, North Carolina.  Entering through the glass doors of the building, one registers at the tables, and proceeds to security who check on purses or brief cases and any carried coats and jackets.

    Activists who come because of their moral commitment to the sanctity of life walk in and discover that they are immediately recognized.  During the meeting, a company photographer snaps photographs of each speaker.  A video tape is apparently made of the meeting for company use.

    There is a poster easel in the lobby announcing that as a courtesy to non-smoking shareholders, the meeting in the auditorium will be no-smoking.  Beverages are available, and one walks up the steps to the second floor for the meeting.

    The auditorium is divided into three main audience sections, with two aisles, and standing microphones for those who wish to speak to the CEO and board members.

The Meeting begins:
From the Reynolds American web site, here are excerpts of the remarks of Susan Ivey, CEO.
These "We Believe" remarks are quite revealing of the way in which evil can seek to justify its perpetuation.
-- Remarks about what they will support and oppose in no-smoking laws, never of course admitting that secondhand smoke is harmful and kills people.
-- Remarks about smoking causing disease, and the role of nicotine.
-- Remarks spinning harm, implying that it would be helpful to public health to spend research time and money rating the relative risk of cigarettes, cigars, smokeless tobacco, etc. -- what categories might be used:  which kills you more quickly, and with less pain, which ignites faster and longer causing more fires, which addicts you more quickly, etc.

Underlining, colors, and Editor's Notes are added for emphasis and explanation.

Susan Ivey:

"... So 2006 was a year in which Reynolds American continued to build on its success and fortify its foundation for long-term growth.

... So -- as an employee and a shareholder -- I'm delighted to say that Reynolds American's business model is driving growth and delivering results.

[Editor's Note:  In order to drive growth and deliver results, i.e., more profit for the company and shareholders, more people must buy the products, become addicted, and die.  Success for Reynolds American is built on the addiction and death of its consumers.]

    So that's what we're achieving.  Now, let's look at how we operate.  What I'd like to focus on for the next few minutes is the philosophical foundation for Reynolds American's success.

    Reynolds American is committed to building value through responsible growth.  And I emphasize the word 'responsible' because we take that very seriously in terms of the products our companies manufacture and market, and in terms of the social, legal and political environments within which they operate.

    Reynolds American's scorecard for 2006 includes significant achievements stemming from our core commitment to responsible growth:
    *  We continue to fulfill our commitment to shareholders by delivering superior returns on their investments;
    *  We enhanced our commitment to corporate citizenship, with RJ. Reynolds holding dialogues with key stakeholders, and our companies, and their customers.

[Editor's Note:  "Key stakeholders" are not listed.]

    Last year, our company, and the industry, saw continued progress in the external environment.  On the legal front, the environment continued to improve with favorable developments in the Engle, DOJ [US Department of Justice], and lights class-action cases.  In fact, we recently received the refund of our $100 million Engle bond.

[Editor's Note:  This overlooks the fact the in the DOJ case, they were found to have lied to their consumers and the public, to have distorted science for their own purposes, and to be adjudicated racketeers.]

    And we're working to make meaningful progress in the regulatory arena, as well.

    As you know, Congress introduced bills in February that would give the FDA [US Food and Drug Administration] control of the domestic tobacco industry.  And the Senate held a hearing on this proposal.  The legislation that was introduced this year is basically the same legislation that's been repeatedly rejected for the past decade.  And, interestingly, the FDA commissioner is among those who have voiced opposition to the current proposals.

    As we said when these bills were introduced, we continue to believe that the time has come for government, industry and others to work together to resolve the contentious issues surrounding the use and marketing of tobacco products.  We welcome the opportunity for broad-based discussion to determine effective public policy.  And we remain hopeful that objective, good-faith discussions can lead to a reasonable and realistic national regulatory structure.

    Our position is clear.  As we've stated before:
       *  We would support legislation under which tobacco products remain legal, consumer-acceptable and regulated in a reasonable and consistent manner;
       *  We would support legislation that permits effective competition, allows for communication and interaction with adult tobacco users regarding their brand choices, and which further minimizes exposure of minors to tobacco marketing; and
        *  We would oppose legislation that does not include these provisions or which provides any of our competitors with an unfair advantage.

    And we hope we can make progress on this front this year.

    Our position concerning the FDA bills, as well as our positions concerning smoking bans and other efforts at the state and local levels, are governed by a set of core principles and beliefs that guide the way we conduct our business.

    Our Guiding Principles and Beliefs detail our commitment to operate our businesses in a responsible manner that best balances the desires of our many stakeholders.  And they provide a framework that guides our actions in five areas that are critical to both our company and our society:

       *  Tobacco Use and Health;
       *  Tobacco Regulation;
       *  Tobacco Consumers;
       *  Harm Reduction; and
       *  Marketing and Communication.

    As you'll see, our Guiding Principles and Beliefs closely align with the beliefs and interests of our society as a whole.

[Editor's Note:  This is not really true, but Reynolds is not known for truth.]

    Let's start by looking at Tobacco Use and Health.

   First, and foremost, we believe that:

    *  'Smoking causes serious disease.'

    Most scientists and public health officials believe that smoking is THE biggest public health threat in our society today.  But most of them also agree that prohibition is not the solution.  So here's the dilemma we continue to face:  How do we minimize the potential for public harm while preserving the rights of adults to enjoy the pleasures that some find in tobacco?

    That question has arisen time and again in every part of the world for hundreds of years.  There are no easy answers.  But our guiding principles and beliefs represent a rational, reasonable, and responsible approach to balancing both sides.

[Editor's Note:   Actually, there is a simple answer.  If you know that the product you are making is addictive, and you know that it hurts and kills people who use it, you could do the responsible, moral, and health-considerate thing, and stop making an addictive lethal product.  Also, the issue of prohibition has been distorted by the tobacco industry, just as they have, according to a court of law, distorted scientific facts.]

    So in terms of Tobacco Use and Health, we share the beliefs voiced by many scientists and policy advocates regarding public health.

[Editor's Note:  Are those scientists and policy advocates referred to ones that have been rented by Reynolds?]

    We believe that:

    *  'Smoking causes serious disease.'

[Editor's Note:  Now there's a no-brainer.  It also causes suffering, death, gum disease, loss of teeth, wrinkles, bad breath, etc., death being the most serious of all.  Note that she does not talk about the use of smokeless tobacco and the cancers and illness and death it causes.  Ask yourself why.]

    We believe that:

    *'Nicotine in tobacco products is addictive but is not considered a significant threat to health.'

[Editor's Note:  At this point, Anne Morrow Donley laughed out loud, because, she said later to colleagues, it was so absolutely ridiculous, and such a lie.  Death is a very significant threat to health, and nicotine kills.  Dictionary definitions of nicotine and the use of nicotine over many years as an insecticide all tout it as a poison -- it kills.  In tobacco products, it addicts and kills.  Tobacco leaves are also radioactive.

Apparently, it was Antonio Monteiro de Castro -- one of the Board Members of Reynolds American, and with the Brazilian subsidiary of BAT (British American Tobacco owns about 45% of Reynolds American) -- who then stood up, turned around and glared at Anne Morrow Donley, who was sitting two rows behind the Board Members.]

[Further Editor's Note:
Please Note:  At this 2007 Reynolds American shareholder meeting on May 11, 2007, in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, as CEO Susan Ivey listed a set of "Beliefs", one of which begins, "We believe that nicotine is addictive ..."  the company lawyers were demanding a mental health exam be given to an RJR customer who states she was addicted to RJR cigarettes which contain nicotine.]

    We believe that:

    *  'No tobacco product has been shown to be safe.'

[Editor's Note:  But they still manufacture, market, promote, and defend their tobacco products in courts of law.]

    And we believe that:

    *  'An individual's level of risk for serious disease is significantly affected by the type of tobacco product used as well as the manner and frequency of use.'

[Editor's Note:   This is a very dangerous statement, and should send chills down the spines of everyone concerned about life and health.]

    These principles inform, and form the foundation for, the rest of our beliefs.  So let's look at what we believe in terms of Tobacco Regulation.  As I've already noted, we believe that:

       *  'Tobacco products should be regulated in a reasonable and consistent manner, and they should remain legal and consumer-acceptable.  The prohibition, in any form, of tobacco products is neither practical nor desirable.'

    We believe that:

       *  'Communication and interaction with adult tobacco users regarding their brand choices is essential for effective competition.'

    And we believe that:

       *  'Resolving the long-standing controversies regarding the marketing and use of tobacco products in an open and objective manner is critical to establishing an acceptable and cooperative environment for all.'

    Finally, regarding Tobacco Regulation, we believe that:

       *  'Smoking restrictions should exempt adult venues such as bars and taverns.'

[Editor's Note:   See below.]

    I want to talk about that last one for a minute because I think it exemplifies the balanced and responsible approach that Reynolds American takes concerning the core issues that affect our businesses.

[Editor's Note:   Do responsible businesses continue to addict and kill their consumers, and never apologize, but only blame the victim?]

    We recognize and respect the fact that many people prefer to work, shop, and dine in smoke-free environments.  And we believe that people should rely on the conclusions of the Surgeon General and other health authorities when making any decisions regarding smoking and health.

[Editor's Note:   Notice that not once, not once, does Susan Ivey say that Reynolds American or RJ. Reynolds or any other part of the company "believes" that secondhand smoke causes serious disease.  Not once.]

    So that brings us back to the tobacco dilemma:  How do we minimize the potential for public harm while preserving the rights of adults to enjoy the pleasures that some find in tobacco?

[Editor's Note:  "Some" -- and the others smoke or chew or whatever, why?]

    In our opinion, the best way to do that is to make sure that any proposals to restrict or ban smoking provide for common-sense exemptions that allow the owners of bars, taverns, and other age-restricted venues the choice to set their own smoking policy.

[Editor's Note:   Owners of bars, taverns, restaurants, etc. must obey many health laws and regulations.  Washing the hands after using the toilet is not left to the whim of the owner, but it is a health regulation.  Refrigerating the chicken salad is not left to the whim of the owner.

Banning smoking is done to protect people from the deadly toxic fumes of secondhand smoke.  Also, many restaurants have ABC licenses, so they might have a bar within the restaurant, which might make them an "adult venue" or divide the building into smoking and no-smoking, but smoke does not read signs and travels.  So is Reynolds hoping to make everyone -- smokers and nonsmokers -- a smoker, first hand or secondhand?]

    We do not oppose legislative proposals that ban smoking in offices, shopping centers, restaurants, and other unrestricted areas.  But we do believe that age-restricted venues where adults gather to enjoy age-restricted products, like alcohol, should also permit adults to enjoy other age-restricted products, like tobacco, if that's the wish of the establishment's owner.  Banning the use of a legal age-restricted product in age-restricted establishments infringes on adult choice, and quite frankly, defies common sense.

[Editor's Note:  Please see above.  Common sense is not something most people associate with tobacco companies.  Wouldn't common sense suggest that companies should not make products which kill their customers when those products are used as intended?]

    And that brings us to our Guiding Principles and Beliefs concerning Tobacco Consumers. 

[Editor's Note:   "Beliefs", not documented facts, but "Beliefs".  These words are from an adjudicated racketeer. 
Consider also the lack of compassion for consumers -- our product may kill you, and we'll never say we're sorry, and we won't stop making addictive and lethal products.]

As I said, we believe that:

    *  'Individuals should rely on the conclusions of the U.S. Surgeon General, the Centers for Disease Control, and other public health and medical officials when making decisions regarding smoking.'

[Editor's Note:   Would you say that naturally every child and adult considers this before buying the shiny packages of the addictive and lethal tobacco products?  Would you say that if the manufacturer makes it, and the government allows them to sell it, there is an unspoken stamp of government and health approval on the products in the minds of many would-be consumers?]

    We further believe that:

    *  'The best course of action for tobacco users concerned about their health is to quit.'

[Editor's Note:   Even better for the health of people, animals, bees, and other living things, would be for the tobacco manufacturers to quit making and marketing tobacco products.  Perhaps they are addicted to money and power?]


    *  'Minors should never use tobacco products, and adults who do not use or have quit using tobacco products should not start.'

    And that:
    *  Adults who smoke should avoid exposing minors to secondhand smoke."

[Editor's Note:  What about exposing other adults to secondhand smoke, including employees of offices, restaurants, bars, etc.?]

    Our beliefs in this area are consistent with the beliefs of our society as a whole. 

[Editor's Note:   This overlooks, for example, not exposing employees and other adults to smoke.  Judge Gladys Kessler in 2006 noted that Reynolds, and the other tobacco companies in the lawsuit, had lied to their consumers and to the public, and all appearances would make it seem that they continue to lie.]

And we are committed to operating our businesses in a manner that is consistent with these beliefs.  Which brings us to the issue of Harm Reduction.

    Reynolds American and its operating companies believe that:

    *  'Decreasing the health risks and harm directly associated with the use of tobacco products is in everyone's best interest.'

[Editor's Note:   The best way to reduce the health risks is to eliminate the nicotine and the carcinogens and the nitrosamines, and the ammonia, and the radioactivity, and more simply, just stop making and marketing and promoting the deadly tobacco products.]

    We believe that:

    *  'Manufacturers, working in conjunction with governments, public health authorities, and tobacco producers, should strive to reduce the harm caused by the use of tobacco products.'

[Editor's Note:  The best way to reduce the harm caused by the use of tobacco products is to stop making and marketing the tobacco products.  A no-brainer for anyone with moral convictions.]


    *  'Public policy should encourage the development of tobacco products that reduce harm or relative risk of serious disease.'

[Editor's Note:   Again, the manufacturer is talking about public policy, and not talking about how responsibility begins with the manufacturer, who could cease making addictive and lethal products which addict and kill when used as intended.  The sheer arrogance of these statements is appalling.]

    And that:

    *  'Public policy should require population -- and science-based standards that allow for consistent, accurate and verified communication about reduced harm and the relative risks of tobacco products.'

[Editor's Note:   This would apparently allow them untold harm in litigation, marketing, and life in general.  Also, the judge in 2006 noted that they had distorted science for their own purposes.  Why should we think they have changed their ways when they still make products that addict and kill?]

    We further believe that:

    *  'Adult tobacco consumers should have access to a range of tobacco, nicotine, and cessation products, and should be given information in order to make an informed choice on the relative risks of each product.'

[Editor's Note:   And they are apparently ready to sell you every one of these.]

    Adults should have the right to make informed choices about the risks they do or do not want to take.  And we believe that the manufacturers of products that present health risks have a responsibility to help the government provide the public with the information necessary to make informed choices.

[Editor's Note:   Note the use of the words "products that present health risks" -- as in killing you.  Not as in, be careful how you use this ladder and don't fall off of it.  But that tobacco products will addict and kill you if you use them as intended to be used.  This statement would apparently seek to remove the responsibility from the shoulders and back of the manufacturers and instead blame the victim for using the product.]

    Which brings me to the fifth and final area of our Guiding Principles and Beliefs -- Marketing and Communication.  I think the points I've already made should clarify why we are guided by the following beliefs.

    We believe that:

    *  'Marketing standards for tobacco products should minimize the exposure of minors to tobacco advertising, be consistent with constitutional protections and provide information allowing adults to make an informed choice.'

[Editor's Note:   "Informed choice" -- Addiction is not an informed choice.]

    We believe:

    *  'Public policy should allow communication of the relative risks of tobacco products and encourage tobacco users to switch to lower-risk products.'

[Editor's Note:   Are they suggesting that they would want to sell you both the tough stuff that kills you immediately and the softer stuff that kills you next week?]

    And finally, we believe that:

    *  'Preferential treatment (in terms of labeling, adult consumer communication, tax rates, etc.) should be given to tobacco products or categories established through scientific evaluation to be significantly less harmful than other available tobacco products or categories.'

[Editor's Note:   They want you to buy their smokeless tobacco which causes pancreatic cancer, cancers of the mouth, but may not give you lung cancer.  This is less harmful?]

    I'd like to spend just a minute talking about the basis for these beliefs -- and why we're convinced that they must play a central role in any legislation that might be proposed.

    RJ. Reynolds has a long, well-documented history of efforts to develop products that present smokers with less risk.  But one thing that has hampered the company, and others who share this commitment to harm reduction, is the lack of clear, consistent standards to judge and communicate the relative risk of tobacco products.

[Editor's Note:   RJ. Reynolds has refused to make RIP [Reduced Ignition Propensity] cigarettes for any consumers except those living in states where the law requires this.  See the question regarding this at the meeting.]

    Let me give you an example.  There's a large and growing body of scientific evidence suggesting that we could achieve major strides in public health if smokers who don't want to quit -- or believe they can't quit -- would switch to noncombustible tobacco products like moist snuff or snus.

[Editor's Note:   Again, smokeless tobacco is higher in radioactivity than are cigarettes, cause cancer, and is dangerous to the user's gums and teeth and throat.]

    But a lack of clear standards to judge and communicate potential benefits of making that switch prevents our companies from providing adult smokers with the facts they need to make an informed choice.  And it prevents tobacco companies -- and the government -- from providing them with incentives to try to switch.

    We strongly support informed choice as a bedrock of responsible public policy.  And an increasing number of scientists and health officials are also coming to believe that consumers deserve access to information that helps them make informed choices concerning tobacco products and their use.

[Editor's Note:   Again, once the product is used, addiction takes over, and there is no such thing as "informed choice" where tobacco products are concerned.  If Reynolds is so concerned over the health of their customers, why don't they stop making tobacco products?  Other responsible companies have pulled their product lines when just a few people have become ill or died.  But not Reynolds.]

    So I repeat the point I made when I began this presentation of Reynolds American's Guiding Principles and Beliefs:  We welcome the opportunity for broad-based discussion to determine effective public policy.  And we remain hopeful that we can make meaningful progress in this regard.

[Editor's Note:   "Broad based discussion" may well refer to the renting of scientists and the renting of former health officials and personnel.]

    So that gives you a good idea of how Reynolds American is doing and how we're achieving results.  At this meeting last year, I told you that 2006 was already shaping up to be another exciting year at Reynolds American.  Looking back, I think you'll agree that it was even more exciting -- and more successful -- than we could predict.  And I look forward to standing before you next year and saying the same about 2007.  Because, as you saw from our first-quarter results, Reynolds American is already off to another terrific start."

[Editor's Note:   In order for Reynolds American to continue to make profits, and especially more money than ever before, they must addict and kill even more consumers, as well as raising the cost of their products.  To bring in new consumers at whatever age, they must market and advertise.  Reynolds American is an adjudicated racketeer.  The judge in 2006, after hearing many witnesses and examining many documents, said they had lied to their consumers and to the public in general.  There is no reason to believe that they are telling the truth now.]

Questions and Comments
    No resolutions were offered, since these were withdrawn during the process of discussions between all parties and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

    However, the six activists who attended the meeting in 2007, were prepared with questions for the company. 
Since Reynolds did not provide a web cast, as did Philip Morris/Altria, and since Reynolds does not normally provide a transcript upon request, the report below is a summary of the memories of several people as to the exact wording of the questions and answers.  Since Reynolds talks a great deal about their well-documented history, it might be interesting if they would be brave enough to provide a transcript or web cast of the meeting for everyone to access.

    A little background is helpful here.  
The rules Reynolds has developed are that Reynolds only allows two minutes per question, although the CEO may take as long as s/he likes for the answer or comment. 
A short block of time is designated for the entire Questions/Comments segment of the meeting.
A  few years ago, while the activists were asking questions, it was noted by the activists that they were NOT being given even close to a full two minutes.  One of the people spoke up about this, and the CEO at the time said that would not happen again.

In the present time, the Reynolds "time keeper" interrupts the speaker to tell them to finish speaking.

Alvina Bey, Virginia:
Sharon Brown, Pennsylvania
Anne Morrow Donley, Virginia
Lisa Maggio, Kentucky
Stan Myer, North Carolina

Alvina Bey, Virginia:
"Good Morning, Ms. Ivey.  As a teacher, I have brought with me some questions from 6th graders, 10 and 11 year old children.  I asked them to write down the one question they would like to ask you.  I could not answer their questions, and I am hoping that you will.
'Do you like what you do?'
'Do you know you are killing people?'
'Do you know kids my age are smoking?'

And finally, I want to speak to you from my heart.  This year, my sister and I face another Mother's Day without our Mother, because she smoked your products.  Your products killed her.

It is not informed choice when people are addicted to tobacco.  This is an oxymoron.  You cannot be a responsible company and produce products which addict and kill people.  That is an oxymoron.  And ..."

The attorney/time keeper interrupted:
"Ms. Bey, will you please wrap it up?"

Alvina Bey, continuing:
"And, I hope one day these meetings will no longer occur because they are not appropriate, and they will no longer be needed."

Susan Ivey: 
    "Thank you for your comments."

Note:  Susan Ivey did not ANSWER the questions of the children.

Sharon Brown, Pennsylvania:
"Good Morning, Chairwoman Ivey & Board.  I'm Sharon Brown, a native North Carolinian who now is living 'as a Yankee' in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area.

You mentioned this morning during your presentation regarding Reynolds' 'Guiding Principles', specifically under the principle of 'Tobacco Regulation', that you think that bars and taverns should not be regulated under smoke-free legislation as they should be considered 'adult choices for adult venues.'

If this is truly your 'belief', then why did Reynolds interfere in the smoke-free legislative process in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania this year?  We were able to pass a fairly comprehensive smoke-free workplace ordinance, a portion of which was enacted January 2 of this year [2007].  However, due to political and industry compromises, the portion of the law that spoke to restaurants and bars was delayed until May 2, 2007.  This delay was due to a lawsuit filed in the Common Pleas Court by two local restaurants with bars -- Smithfield Cafe and Mitchell's Restaurant.  Soon afterwards, as a result of an investigation by our local press, it was found that the suit was being solely supported by Reynolds.

As the Common Pleas judge refused to bar the implementation of the second portion of the law, it went into effect on May 1 -- but only for 16 hours, due to the injunction you filed with the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania that same day.  This in effect prevents us from having smoke-free restaurants where many families with children are denied smoke-free environments.  If you truly are against blocking ordinances for 'multi-use venues' such as these, and protecting children from secondhand smoke exposures, why did you do this, and ..."

The attorney/timekeeper interrupted:
"Ms. Brown, will you please come to the point?"

Sharon Brown, continuing:
"And, if I may continue, I don't see the figures on any company provided spread sheet for FY 2006, so I'd like to know how much money was spent by Reynolds to support this lawsuit -- money that could have gone to the shareholders -- particularly the amount spent by Reynolds, versus the two restaurants; and, how much more support is being planned, in light of your statement that you do not block ordinances regarding 'mixed use venues'?

Susan Ivey: 
"I'm not really familiar with what happened in Allegheny County.  Certainly, as I said in my opening remarks, we support legislation to have smoke-free regulations for 'mixed venues', but not for adult-only venues.  I'll check on this and have someone get back to you."

Stan Meyer, North Carolina
"Good Morning, Ms. Ivey.  Just this morning [May 11, 2007] in the Greensboro News & Record, there was a letter to the editor from a Winston-Salem resident about a recent North Carolina House Bill that was voted down. 

Quoting from the letter:
'Drifting tobacco smoke kills more people, including children, than motor vehicle accidents, AIDS, all crimes, illegal drugs, etc.'
He writes more,
'Since when did the right of restaurant owners to pollute air become more important than the health of patrons and their children?'

The bill would have done away with smoking in restaurants, hotels, and most other public places.  Reynolds American lobbied heavily against the bill.

Why would Reynolds oppose these smoking restrictions when you have already said Reynolds American does not oppose smoking restrictions in 'mixed venues'?  Why would Reynolds oppose these smoking restrictions when the EPA [U.S. Environmental Protection Agency] has classified secondhand smoke as a Class A carcinogen, the U.S. Surgeon General has stated that there is no safe level of secondhand smoke exposure, and peer-reviewed scientific studies have shown that emergency room visits for heart attacks are greatly reduced in places where there are laws restricting smoking in public?

Why would Reynolds want to put nonsmokers at risk?  In Guilford County (North Carolina) alone, the American Lung Association stated that more than 178,000 people are in higher risk categories -- people with asthma, chronic bronchitis, emphysema, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes.  Why does Reynolds want to discriminate against these people?  Why doesn't Reynolds care? 

And please do not use the property rights fallacy for an answer, because public accommodations have long been regulated for the public good.  There is no big step to banning contaminated burgers to banning carcinogen-and poison-contaminated smoke.

The attorney/time-keeper: 
"Mr. Meyer, will you please wrap it up?"

Stan Meyer, continuing:
"And your comments that the company believes smoking restrictions should exempt bars and taverns does not consider the lives of the employees of these places.  Often they cannot easily find other jobs.  They too may develop secondhand smoke related illnesses and die."

Susan Ivey:
 "It's acceptable to have restrictions in mixed age venues and in offices, but not in adult only venues."

Lisa Maggio, Kentucky:

"Good Morning.  I am a nurse in Kentucky.  We are very happy and proud to have a smoke-free Lexington law, and we are a tobacco state just like North Carolina is. 

Please understand our struggles.  As nurses, our job is to promote health, prevent disease, and protect life.  Your job is to make money and promote a deadly product that when used as directed will cause death and disease.

As nurses, we care for these people, we see their suffering, we sometimes see them die.  And we see their families devastated by this suffering and death.

I am distressed that your director, Nana Mensah, is not here, because I want to know how you have someone on the board of this tobacco company who is also on the board of the Children's Miracle Network and the board of the Kentucky Children's Hospital.  That seems to be a conflict of interest.  I see he has been on the tobacco boards since at least 1999. 

I ask that your board members be aware of potential conflicts of interest when they decide to serve on the RAI board.  Your decision should be whether you will support a company that promotes a deadly product, or you are in support of organizations whose missions are to promote health, especially of children.  Mr. Mensah also serves on the Children's Miracle Network, which are hospitals that impact the lives of more children than any other children's organization in the world.  Children's hospitals provide state-of-the-art care, life-saving research, and preventative education for children 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

I find it reprehensible that he would serve as a trustee protecting the rights of children on the one hand, and be part of a company that would deny their legal options to ensure their environments are smoke-free.

You say you are a responsible company.  This company continues to target young women by marketing your Camel No. 9 brand, which as intended, sounds a great deal like Chanel No. 9.  As I look upon the stage, I see three out of four members are women.  You are aware that lung cancer has surpassed breast cancer in women?

It's irresponsible to market this product to attract replacement smokers for the ones who are dying of their tobacco addiction.

And lastly, your stance on smoke-free laws omits the importance of worker health.  Don't workers deserve a safe environment in which to work?"

Susan Ivey:
"Thank you for your comments."

Anne Morrow Donley, Virginia:

"Good Morning, Ms. Ivey.  You really should provide a videotape of this meeting to all schools, so the children can learn about propaganda.

I thought I had stumbled into a temple or church with all this talk of 'Believe.'

You said that the company 'believes' that nicotine is addictive, but not a significant threat to health.
I'd say that death is a pretty significant threat to health. 

Nicotine is a well known poison and an insecticide. 
Indeed, the Colony Collapse Disorder, the threat that is killing bees worldwide, may be linked to nicotinoids. 
And the late Dr. John Slade, a well known expert on nicotine, once said in regard to your American Spirit so called 'natural' cigarettes, that they still contain nicotine, and that 'Nicotine will kill you.' 

Then there's the Polonium-210 in your products, the radioactivity, and Jeffrey Wigand -- you remember Jeffrey Wigand, Ms. Ivey? -- has stated that the smokeless tobacco products are higher in Polonium-210 than the cigarettes. 

Your saying that you want to work on harm reduction and to classify the risks of varying tobacco products is like the auto industry saying they want to see whether a pick up truck or a four door sedan will kill you faster when it runs over you. ..."

The attorney/time-keeper: 
"Sister ..."

Anne Morrow Donley:
"I'm not a 'Sister.' "

The attorney/time-keeper: 
"Oh, I'm sorry."

Anne Morrow Donley:
"No, I'm not upset to be mistaken for a Sister.  But I am a grandmother."

The attorney/time-keeper:
"Will you please wrap it up?"

Anne Morrow Donley:
"Your 'Belief' about the litigation picture overlooked the fact that you are adjudicated racketeers.  You overlooked the Whiteley case, Leslie Whiteley died at the age of 40 from smoking your products, and the case recently filed in Africa against BAT. ..."

The attorney/time-keeper:
"Mrs. Donley, please wrap it up!"

Anne Morrow Donley:
"I would think that considering the fact that a few years ago you cheated us all on the amount of time allowed to each of us, and considering that there are no resolutions presented this year, that you could have the courtesy of allowing an extra 30 seconds of time!

Responsible companies who discovered illnesses and deaths from their products, such as peanut butter, Tylenol, grapes, and so on, pulled their products.

The only way you can be a responsible company is to do the moral thing and get out of the tobacco business!"

Susan Ivey:
"Mrs. Donley, we certainly will not be getting out of the tobacco business."

Sharon Brown, Pennsylvania:

"Good Morning again.  As I mentioned before, I'm a native North Carolinian, so I have a special interest in what happens here in North Carolina.  I'm also a nurse -- a graduate of the University of North Carolina School of Nursing in Chapel Hill.  And as a nurse and health advocate, I need to make sure you're aware of these facts and numbers:

Women are targeted every year by tobacco advertising.  Of those women who start smoking, 178,000 US women each year will die as a result of a smoking related disease.  Since 1987, lung cancer has been the leading cause of cancer among women even surpassing breast cancer.  87% to 90% of all lung cancers are related to tobacco use.  The other 10% to 13% are related to secondhand smoke and radon exposures.

Given these facts, nurses and other health advocates wonder why Reynolds American International chose not to support a shareholder resolution aimed at protecting children from the secondhand smoke exposures.  In the federal Department of Justice case against Reynolds and other tobacco industry defendants, Judge Gladys Kessler ruled last summer [2006] that
Reynolds and other tobacco companies have violated racketeering laws by deceiving people about the dangers of tobacco.  Her ruling declared that the 'defendants continue to obscure the fact that ETS [secondhand smoke] is hazardous to Nonsmokers.'

Also, on May 4, 2007,
the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) was asked by five US senators -- Lautenberg of New Jersey, Harkin of Iowa, Durbin of Illinois, Brown of Ohio, and Kennedy of Massachusetts, to investigate Reynolds' apparent attempts to target young adolescent girls with the new Camel No. 9 products.

You said in your opening remarks and elsewhere, that you do not market to youth.  But the new Camel No. 9 has a ring to it like, 'Chanel No. 9,' and it's in pink in one flavor, and teal for the menthol.  This seems to indicate that it is certainly directed towards appealing to young adolescent girls.  I happened to notice an old Camel's display in the case outside of this auditorium -- probably from the 1930's or 1940's.  It was an ad for 'Women and Camels' with women leisurely lounging around, and described the cigarettes as 'Mild & Flavorful'.  How interesting that you've now moved to a campaign for Camels, that many describe as being targeted to young adolescents, as well as young adult females, as 'Light & Luscious.'  How can you do this?  And, didn't Judge Kessler in the US Department of Justice lawsuit declare that you are to no longer use the term 'Light' in your advertising?  How do you plan to respond to the FTC senatorial investigation?

Susan Ivey:
"Thank you, Sharon, for your comments.  We do not market to girls.  The marketing and design staff is fully competent, and tested products for young adult females.  We can market using the term 'Light' referring to flavor.  And, we will certainly cooperate fully with the Senators in providing information for them."

Stan Meyer, North Carolina
"Everywhere you walk these days, there are cigarette butts on the ground, the streets, the sidewalks, the grass.  They are everywhere, and they are not biodegradable.  These butts stay in our environment, poisoning our land, water, rivers and streams, the water we drink.  They also kill the wildlife.

In addition, there are cigarette related fires going on right now in several states.  Cigarette related fires could be greatly reduced with the Reduced Ignition Propensity or RIP cigarettes, which self-extinguish.  Common sense tells us that something that will continue to burn is more likely to cause fires than something that will self-extinguish.

Several states now require that all cigarettes sold in those states must be RIP.  Reynolds produces these cigarettes for those states.

Why doesn't Reynolds produce those RIP cigarettes to reduce fires, and what is Reynolds doing about the cigarette litter that continues to pollute our environment?"

Susan Ivey:
"Yes, there is a great deal more cigarette litter than before, and this is because of the increase of smoking restrictions, so more and more the smokers must smoke outside.  We can try to encourage education, but I don't know what else we can do.

Regarding the RIP, or the LIP, the Lower Ignition Propensity, this is based on a particular kind of paper which does not ignite as easily.  There just isn't enough of that paper in the United States to make all the cigarettes with that paper."
[Editor's Note:   Essentially, as with most of the other questions asked, Susan Ivey did not answer these two questions.  She blamed the nonsmokers for the cigarette litter.  Then, regarding the RIP cigarettes, note that the tobacco industry does not like the term RIP, and prefers the one she used, LIP.  Surely, if Reynolds wanted to buy more of the special cigarette RIP paper, it would be produced.]

Susan Ivey, continuing:
And now, this concludes the Question and Answer segment. 

If anyone else would like to have a question answered, you may find paper and pen at the back of the room, and write the questions down and submit them to the staff. ..."

Anne Morrow Donley, speaking from the audience:

"I notice you didn't answer the questions of the 10 and 11 year old children.  I guess you didn't think their questions were important enough to answer."

Susan Ivey:
"Yes, of course I think the children's questions are important.  And I'll be glad to answer them offline."

Susan Ivey then concluded the meeting after a report of the voting and other business matters.

Following the meeting, Alvina Bey talked with Susan Ivey about the children's questions, and Susan Ivey transferred her to the public relations person.  Alvina Bey said she would send several questions to the public relations person, but emphasized that the children are expecting a direct answer from the CEO herself.

Several staff members approached Sharon Brown, Lisa Maggio, and Alvina Bey to go over some of the issues  discussed during the questions and comments period.  The Reynolds staff did not agree to the advocates' suggestions regarding Camel No. 9 promotions and advertising.  The staff did agree to disclose the financial information regarding both the amount spent to date to fund the Allegheny, Pennsylvania lawsuit, and future financial commitments to the case.


EXCERPTS from The Winston-Salem Journal, May 12, 2007, headlined, CEO spells out Reynolds' principles; any federal regulation must protect rights of adults, Ivey tells shareholders, writer, Richard Craver.

Susan Ivey, its [Reynolds American] chairwoman and chief executive, dedicated the majority of her presentation to discussing Reynolds’ guiding principles on tobacco use, regulation, efforts on making products that are less harmful, and marketing to adult consumers.

The guiding principles also dominated the question-and-answer session with shareholders. Most of the speakers, as typical, were shareholders who also are members of health-advocacy groups critical of Reynolds’ product and marketing strategies.

It was the third consecutive meeting where no smoking was permitted.

Ivey reiterated Reynolds’ opposition to Food and Drug Administration regulation of the tobacco industry as currently proposed in a bill before Congress. She said that for Reynolds to support more regulation, it must allow tobacco products to remain legal, be regulated in a consistent manner, permit marketing to adult smokers, and minimize exposure of tobacco marketing to minors.

She said that Reynolds’ guiding principles “closely align with the beliefs and interests of our society as a whole.”

Ivey said that Reynolds acknowledges that “smoking causes serious disease,” “nicotine in tobacco products is addictive, but not considered a significant threat to health,” “no tobacco product has been shown to be safe,” and “an individual’s level of risk for serious disease is significantly affected by the type of tobacco products used, as well as the manner and frequency of use.”

Reynolds, she said, recognizes that many people prefer to work, shop and dine in smoke-free environments. “So that brings us back to the tobacco dilemma: How do we minimize the potential for public harm while preserving the rights of adults to enjoy the pleasures that some find in tobacco? In our opinion, the best way to do that is to make sure that any proposals to restrict or ban smoking provide for common-sense exemptions that allow the owners of bars, taverns and other age-restricted venues the choice to set their own smoking policy,” she said.

That stance drew criticism from the health-advocacy representatives, as did Reynolds’ introduction in February of Camel No. 9 - the first Camel style that targets adult female smokers in terms of flavor and packaging. Camel No. 9 was cited last week for its potential to appeal to minor girls in a letter by five U.S. senators to the Federal Trade Commission.

Lisa Maggio, a registered nurse from Lexington, Ky., and a member of the Nightingales Nurses advocacy group, questioned Reynolds’ commitment to its guiding principles and urged the company to do more to protect youth from exposure to secondhand smoke.

Maggio also targeted the female members of Reynolds’ management- five of the top seven officers are women - with her criticism of Camel No. 9. She said that Reynolds should not have introduced a cigarette that focuses on women when lung cancer has become the leading cause of cancer in women.

Ivey said that Camel No. 9 is not aimed at minor girls, but is a reflection of the fact that nearly half of smokers are women.

Ivey praised Reynolds’ $3.5 billion purchase of Conwood Co. in 2005. Reynolds received criticism for the deal, but “based on Conwood’s continued strong growth, I have no doubt that we’d pay a significantly higher price today for this powerful addition to the Reynolds American family,” she said.

Shareholders ... also approved an amendment that would increase the number of authorized shares of Reynolds common stock from 400 million to 800 million.

Reynolds’ board of directors declared a 75 cent quarterly cash dividend on its common stock. The dividend is payable July 2 to shareholders registered June 11.

Excerpts from a Letter to the Editor, The Greensboro News & Record, North Carolina, May 11, 2007, headlined, "Vote on smoking ban won't soon be forgotten", writer Barry Carlton.
Drifting tobacco smoke kills more people, including children, than motor vehicle accidents, AIDS, all crimes, illegal drugs, etc.  Yet, many North Carolina legislators including Reps. John Blust, Earl Jones and Laura Wiley from Guilford County argued for property rights while ignoring a chance to prevent these needless deaths by voting against HB 259, a bill to ban smoking in restaurants.

Since when did the right of restaurant owners to pollute air become more important than the health of patrons and their children?

Legislators banned smoking at legislative buildings to protect their health, while passing a pre
-emption law that prevents local governments from doing the same. ...

Until we can get protection on a state or local level, Reps. Alma Adams, Pricey Harrison and Maggie Jeffus, who voted for the bill, as well as business owners who care enough to create clean air workplaces, deserve our loyal support.

Please Note:  At the 2007 Reynolds American shareholder meeting on May 11, 2007, in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, reported above, CEO Susan Ivey listed a set of "Beliefs", one of which begins, "We believe that nicotine is addictive ..."  So, while Susan Ivey was stating the company's "Beliefs", the company lawyers were demanding a mental health exam be given to an RJR customer who states she was addicted to RJR cigarettes which contain nicotine.

EXCERPTS from Mealey's Litigation Report, Tobacco, May, 2007, Volume 21, Issue 3, headlined, Cigarette Maker [RJR]:  Force Addiction-Claiming Woman to Have Mental Exam, writer not given. 

A cancer-afflicted woman alleging that a tobacco company is liable for intentionally causing her addiction to its cigarettes should be forced to submit to a mental examination because she placed her mental health in controversy by claiming to be addicted, the company argues in a March 22 motion; the plaintiff in a May 7 response denies that she placed her mental condition in controversy and counters that the company has not shown how such an examination will be probative (Barbara A. Izzarelli v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., No. 3:99cv02338, D. Conn.).
Approximately 25 years after she began smoking, Barbara Izzarelli sued R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. (RJR) in the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut, seeking damages for personal injury, including laryngeal cancer, under the Connecticut Product Liability Act (CPLA) and the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act (CUTPA).

Among other things, Izzarelli alleged that RJR's Salem cigarettes are defective and unreasonably dangerous in that they are addictive and that RJR intentionally manipulated the cigarettes to enhance their addictive properties so that consumers would smoke more of them. She also charged that RJR has long pursued a marketing strategy targeting minors in the hopes that they would become addicted to cigarettes and provide a long-term base of consumers.
RJR on March 22 moved for an order pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 35(a) requiring Izzarelli to submit to a mental examination by a team of psychiatrists and psychologists. According to RJR, such an order is appropriate because Izzarelli voluntarily placed her mental health in controversy when she alleged that she is addicted to Salem cigarettes.

RJR say it has retained Spencer Eth, M.D., Wilfred G. van Gorp, Ph.D., and Ellen Jay Kausner, Ph.D., all in New York , to perform the examination. The company requests that the examiners be permitted to conduct an in-person interview of Izzarelli - including a smoking, personality, developmental, medical and psychiatric history and a mental functioning evaluation - followed by a battery of standard neuropsychological tests to assess personality, memory, language, intellect and other cognitive domains. RJR estimates that the entire process would last between seven and 10 hours and proposes that neither party have counsel in attendance and that no audio, visual or other recordings be made of the examination.
Izzarelli objected in a May 7 response, saying RJR had not in fact demonstrated that she placed her mental condition "in controversy" or that there is "good cause" for a mental examination.

Izzarelli also points out that RJR has not disclosed how the proposed examination would be probative, nor has it disclosed which tests the examiners would administer.

"While defendant contends that the mental examination is necessary because plaintiff has raised 'addiction' in the case, the testing that defendant wishes to conduct does not test for addiction," Izzarelli says. "Moreover, the psychiatrist and psychologists selected . . . are not qualified to give expert opinions about addiction - which is largely a physiological process involving the brain. . . . Defendant's failure to demonstrate to the Court how the proposed testing specifically relates to addiction is particularly troubling in light of the fact that plaintiff Barbara Izzarelli has not smoked in over 7 years."

Izzarelli stresses that her claims in this suit are for cancer only, not for addiction as a separate injury. Recovery for cancer-related damages does not implicate her psychiatric health, and a claim for cancer-related damages does not justify such an invasive inquiry by RJR, she says.

Izzarelli is represented by David S. Golub, Jonathan M. Levine and Marilyn J. Ramos of Silver, Golub & Teitell in Stamford, Conn. RJR is represented by Mark R. Seiden of Jones Day in New York and David Thomas Ryan of Robinson & Cole in Hartford.

[Virginia GASP]   Added 13 May 2007, Updated 19 May 2007