Smoker John Boehner Joins Board Of Reynolds Tobacco Company

UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 23: House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, smokes a cigarette after a news conference outside of Tart Lumber Company in Sterling, Va., were they unveiled "A Pledge to America," a governing agenda devised by House Republicans for the 111th Congress. (Photo By Tom Williams/Roll Call via Getty Images)

Tobacco giant Reynolds American Inc. announced Thursday that retired House Speaker John Boehner is joining the company’s board of directors, to serve on its corporate governance and sustainability committee.

Boehner, who served nearly five years as speaker, was famous in the halls of Congress for his smoking habit, with a penchant for Camel Ultra Lights. Reynolds’ brand lineup includes Camels as well as Newports, Pall Malls, Natural American Spirits and others.

As speaker, the Ohio Republican lit up freely in his Capitol Hill office. When he left Congress, incoming Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said he wasn’t sure how to rid the office of the smell, comparing it to a rental car that had been smoked in. The House superintendent ended up repainting the walls and changing the carpet.

Boehner was also known to be cozy with the tobacco industry. Infamously, he once passed out campaign contribution checks from the industry to members on the House floor, an action he acknowledged and said he regretted.


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