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Cig-Sucking WWE Star -- SMOKED by Tobactivist

4/19/2011 1:45 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

WWE star R-Truth is taking serious heat for lighting up a cigarette on "RAW" last night ... in front of a row of kids -- and now, the biggest anti-smoking activist on the planet is DEMANDING he apologize.

0419_smoking_wrestler_patrick_reynolds_ex_getty

The drama began when Ron "R-Truth" Killings hit up the audience for a smoke ... and actually LIT UP right in front of them ... including several children.

But the on-screen cig-fest didn't sit so well with anti-smoking activist Patrick Reynolds (pictured right) -- Executive Director of TobaccoFree.org -- who has officially issued a challenge to the wrestler ... to publicly apologize for the smoking stunt.

Reynolds -- ironically the grandson of tobacco magnate R.J. Reynolds -- tells TMZ, "For him to smoke in front of [children] is irresponsible. At best, it's thoughtless, and at worst, if he calculated appealing to kids by posing as a bad-boy outlaw, it's evil."

0419_smoking_wrestler_sm_launchReynolds adds, "If he wants help in quitting, I'll be happy to be his personal coach."

The WWE issued a statement to TMZ defending the cigarette incident -- saying, "The negative effect smoking has on one’s health and physical performance was a part of a storyline on last night’s Monday Night Raw.  Negative depictions of tobacco use on television are not unusual and can be seen on other TV-PG shows."



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104 COMMENTS

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16.

gene yuss    

We all need to get 'I apologize' tattoo's and just show them when someone is offended by us. Or while we're offending them.

1198 days ago
17.

CriticAl    

Steve Austin and The Sandman both drink beer in front of the crowd. Smoking is no worse.

1198 days ago
18.

Ben    

Some of the comments are more clueless than the activist.

Shootings in wrestling? I'm pretty sure that's never been done. All the other stuff mentioned hasn't happened for years.
WWE is rated PG, it is catered for children these days. The biggest star is a guy in colourful shirts and jean shorts who stands for respect and loyalty. None of the kids there are interested in this 'bad boy image'.

1198 days ago
19.

Patrick Reynolds    

Ron "R-Truth" Killings is a role model to a lot of young boys -- they look up to him, and some idolize him as one of their heroes. If anyone doubts the influence on youth of stars who smoke, check out credible scientific studies of celebs smoking in movies, at http://www.smokefreemovies.ucsf.edu/

And the baseball players who took endorsement fees from chewing tobacco companies in the 60's and 70's, and then used to dip during games, were also betraying our kids. I speak in middle and high schools all over the nation, and show photos of them. Check out www.tobaccofree.org/patrick.htm if you want me to come speak in your city.

Smokeless tobacco use has soared in recent years, and it's just as addictive as smoking. With over 50% of the US population living in cities with 100% smoking bans in bars and restaurants, the cigarette companies are shifting their marketing to include new smokeless tobacco products.

For Ron "R-Truth" Killings to smoke in front of kids is irresponsible. Like I told TMZ's reporter, at best, it's thoughtless, and at worst -- if he calculated appealing to rebellious teens by posing as a bad-boy outlaw -- it's downright evil.

There are a lot of kids and teens out there who will be influenced by Killings, and who want to look "cool." You may not know this, but a majority (60...%) of smokers start smoking before reaching age 14, and 90% of US smokers get hooked before their 19th birthday. In short, only our kids start the habit, during the rebellious years when it's normal to break away from parents and start establishing themselves as adults. After 19, almost no one starts smoking.

I challenge Ron "R-Truth" Killings to publicly apologize for his smoking on camera and being a bad influence on kids, and to vow he won't do it again. It would take a real man to do that, and his public statement would go a long way with our kids. Admitting you made a mistake and making amends for it takes a real hero.

And Ron, if you want help quitting, I'd be happy to be your personal coach. I'm at www.Tobaccofree.org.

1198 days ago
20.

Michelle    

So, it's ok for the kids to watch men fighe and beat each other up but it's NOT ok for kids to see him light up a cigarette???? REALLY???? I'm not saying I agree with him lighing up a cigarette but to make him apologize for it and make a big deal about it is just crazy.

1198 days ago
21.

anotherfnday    

The smoking incident was no accident!

Everything is written in a approved scripts which are prepared by staff writers at least a week in advance. Scripts are then ultimately ok'd by Vince's Daughter & Head of Creative Team; Stephanie McMahon then, personally signed off on by WWE CEO Vince McMahon.
On the night of the event approximately 3-4 hours prior to going live, wrestlers and all staff attend a production meeting where all are given their scripts with any last minute changes.

If R-Truth (the wrestler) did not lite up, Vince McMahon would have fired him!

1198 days ago
22.

en Todo Momento!!    

only a dumb kid is gonna follow what a stupid and dumb adult does or is gonna do. duh, cigarettes are gonna kill you if you smoke an entire pack a day. you can also buy a lb of sugar and eat the whole damn thing in one day. THAT!! will eventually kill yer dumas too!! are people just really that stupid???! yes.

1198 days ago
23.

mac    

@MightyMad that is the weakest argument I have ever heard.. seriously it is indisputable that smoking causes hundreds of thousands of deaths a year. So you and your family have gotten lucky so far? congrats... oh yeah and all the people you mentioned are nowhere near perfect physical health.. people in perfect physical health don't have lungs full of tar..

1198 days ago
24.

mac    

"MightyMad

@Patrick Reynolds: give away 3/4 of your family fortune to cancer research, and then we'll start taking you seriously..."

... he doesn't have control of 3/4's of his family's fortune.. why would he? You are so stupid it hurts.. yeah lets not listen to someone whose family is a major manufacturer in the tobacco industry he definitely wouldn't know anything about tobacco.. lets all just refer to MightyMad's wisdom because.. ready for this?.. his parents smoke... hahahaha

1198 days ago
25.

Jodi    

These tweens and teenagers saw a wrestler smoke in front of them and it's a bad, bad thing...but them seeing the wrestlers throw each other around the ring, smash their heads into poles or on the canvass, jump off a rope and land smack dab on the other wrestler's prone body laying on the canvass or seeing a wrestler get thrown out the ring to the floor below, even though all of it is staged...is fine and dandy. GTHOH

1198 days ago
26.

Cody    

As a wrestling fan, this is ridiculous. I love people who feel they have the right to comment on something that they dont know a damn thing about. Whoever this nobody is thats complaining, clearly he isnt good at his job considering so many people still smoke. And besides, that show was in England, all of those kids probably smoke anyway.

1198 days ago
27.

Majestik    

Pffftttt.

Patrick Reynolds, if it wasn't for the movie "THE INSIDER" and that whistle blower back in the day, you and your family would still be making billions off of the smoking public. How bloody cheesy that you are the wealthy man you are off what your family hocked all these years.

I'm sorry, but if your kids smoke because some screen star, or wrestling personality does then your parenting skills should be brought into question. This is as bad as the 70's when the Industry do gooders claimed Rock and roll was causing teenagers to kill themselves.

1198 days ago
28.

Mel    

mac 19 minutes ago

@MightyMad that is the weakest argument I have ever heard.. seriously it is indisputable that smoking causes hundreds of thousands of deaths a year. So you and your family have gotten lucky so far? congrats... oh yeah and all the people you mentioned are nowhere near perfect physical health.. people in perfect physical health don't have lungs full of tar..
****************************************************************
Explain the non-smokers who get cancer. No, smoking does not cause thousands of deaths a year. No coroner has EVER put "smoking" as a cause of death.

I demand an apology from Reynolds demanding an apology. I also demand one for watching the show to know it happened. And, for just being a flat out d-bag. When I get these separate and concise apologies, I'll let him live his life in his own manner like the rest of the adults in this world want to do...

1198 days ago
29.

Carriss    

What business do children having sitting in the front row of a wresting match, much less being there in the first place? I wouldn't complain that he lit up a cigarette inside, I'd bitch at the parents who brought their kids there in the first place!

1198 days ago
30.

Puckett    

OK did this guy inherit his wealth from his fathers tobacco empire, or has he earned it some less deadly way, one that gives him the moral high ground to be publicly demeaning smokers and demanding apologies from them? :rolls eyes:

1198 days ago
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