Former House Speaker John Boehner joins tobacco company’s board

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.
John Boehner

John Boehner joined the board of tobacco company Reynolds American, the maker of Newports and Camels.

NEW YORK — Former House Speaker John Boehner, who smokes so much that his office had to be fumigated to get rid of the scent of stale cigarette smoke, just landed a fitting post-retirement gig as a director at Reynolds American, the tobacco company that makes Camel and Newport. Boehner was known to smoke Camel Ultra Lights.

The jump to Winston-Salem, N.C.-based Reynolds American comes nearly a year after Boehner suddenly stepped down as House Speaker, a day after an emotional meeting with Pope Francis.

Reynolds American revealed the high-profile addition to its board in a statement on Thursday. The No. 2 U.S. tobacco company said Boehner will join the board immediately and serve on its corporate governance, nominating and sustainability committee.

Boehner’s new gig should carry a sweet raise, too.

No specific salary information was released by Reynolds, but directors at the company made at least $300,000 in fees and stock awards last year. One of directors hauled in nearly $1 million. By comparison, Boehner was paid $174,000 in his final year as House Speaker. (The salary was raised to $223,500 soon after he left.)

Before Boehner joined Congress in 1990, the Ohio Republican had a business background as president of a sales company in the packaging and plastics industry.

Boehner is a longtime heavy smoker. Paul Ryan, his replacement as House Speaker, even told The New York Times that in meetings he tried to sit as far away from Boehner as possible.

“I just hate getting that smell in my clothes,” Ryan said.