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Sustainability Homepage - Highlight Stories - Employee Use of Right Decisions Right Now Continues to Rise
Highlight Stories

Employee Use of Right Decisions Right Now Continues to Rise

Employees of Reynolds American Inc. (RAI) and its subsidiaries are giving back to their communities in greater numbers by taking advantage of the Right Decisions Right Now – Be Tobacco Free (RDRN) employee program.

In 2015, the RDRN program had an all-time high employee-participation rate with 486 employee presentations, almost ten times as many presentations as in 2010. RDRN, a youth tobacco prevention program funded by R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, is designed to help youth avoid tobacco in any form, including vapor products, cigarettes and smokeless tobacco. Employees say they enjoy the ability to give back to their communities, both by educating about youth tobacco prevention and by providing grants.

Employees of RAI and its subsidiaries have the opportunity to present the program to youth through nonprofit organizations, who receive a grant of $500 per employee who presents. Employees can present twice a year and, if two employees present together, each organization can receive as much as $1,000 per year. This enables employees to broaden the reach of the youth tobacco prevention message in their communities and beyond, all while helping nonprofits gain funding.

“To be able to reach over 500 young individuals and educate them on the importance of remaining tobacco-free is truly a great accomplishment and I am proud my company gave me an opportunity to do that,” said Leonard Burress, a territory manager for R.J. Reynolds who has presented the program on more than one occasion.“All the campers had great questions to ask and we were more than happy to answer them. I always look forward to presenting this program each year and I can’t wait to do it again next year.”

To further promote RDRN participation across the companies, the RDRN Employee Advisory Council was developed in 2015. The Council is a team of employee “experts” on presenting the youth tobacco prevention message,and promotes the RDRN program through special events. They are available to employees to offer guidance for those who want to present the program.

The RDRN program was independently developed and launched in 1991. The evidence-based program is offered free of charge to educators, parents and grandparents, and youth-focused community groups. The employee grant program has been available for more than a decade.

Employees, teachers, parents or anyone else interested in using the program can go to the RDRN website to get a variety of print and digital materials to aid in their presentations, as well as download the program in its entirety. The website, which also provides a printable version of the program as well as digital materials including interactive videos, quizzes and activities, was updated and redesigned in 2015.

Employees and other presenters of RDRN say they are able to gain greater interaction and participation through the use of materials from the RDRN website and giveaways of items such as pencils, wrist bands and pencil pouches.