Susan M. Ivey and Wake Forest

by Leonard Jensen

Primarily due to the convergence in patterns of smoking in men and women, the incidence of lung cancer in men and women born after 1960 has converged.

Lung cancer will kill more women this year than both breast cancer and ovarian cancer combined. Lung cancer has always killed more men than any other cancer.

Tobacco causes about 85 percent of lung cancers (around 160,000 American deaths per year).

Tobacco caused cancers (lung, esophageal, stomach, trachea, bronchial, mouth, lip, etc.) and emphysema cost 400,000 American lives per year and about $100 billion in medical costs. These statistics are nothing compared the number of broken families and incredible human suffering associated with tobacco.

While not insignificant, drunk driving deaths (16-19,000 per year) and drug overdose deaths (20,000 per year) are nowhere near the carnage and death that tobacco produces each year.

So why would Wake Forest University allow a top executive of Reynolds American, Susan M. Ivey, on its board of trustees?

It’s the monetary support that Wake Forest receives from Reynolds and its subsidiaries. From my viewpoint, ethics and morals aren’t prerequisites for Wake Forest board or leadership positions. It just takes money, no matter the source.

Leonard Jensen lives in Fort Worth, Texas.