The first woman to lead a U.S. cigarette company, Susan Ivey is chairman and CEO of Reynolds American, the second-largest tobacco company in the United States, manufacturing about one of every three cigarettes sold in the country – including five of the nation's Top 10 brands. Ranked No. 42 on Forbes magazine’s list of the world’s "100 Most Powerful Women," Ivey began her career as a sales rep with Brown & Williamson Tobacco in 1981 and rose through company ranks to become CEO and lead a merger with R.J. Reynolds in July 2004.
Susan Ivey, chairman and CEO of Reynolds American, discusses the development of public policy regarding tobacco products in the United States. Ivey argues that reform is needed in tobacco education. She believes that the right policies could actually help reduce the harm caused by tobacco products. Ivey argues that an “abstinence only” policy agenda is not working and argues for a “continuum of risk” approach to combating death and diseases caused by tobacco products. Ivey claims that tobacco consumers should be aware of the different risks associated with different tobacco products. In the question and answer period, Ivey addresses her experience as a female CEO as well as smokeless tobacco products.