Ex-marlboro man dies from smoking-related disease

LOS ANGELES When it came to portraying the rugged western outdoorsman who helped transform a pack of filtered cigarettes into the world’s most popular brand, Marlboro Man Eric Lawson was the real deal.

Ruggedly handsome, the actor could ride a horse through the wide open spaces of the Southwest, from Texas to Colorado to Arizona or wherever else the Phillip Morris tobacco company sent him to light up while representing a true American icon, the cowboy. And he really did smoke Marlboro cigarettes, as many as three packs a day.

Lawson was still smoking in 2006 when he was diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. He died of the disease at his home in San Luis Obispo on Jan. 10. He was 72.

For three years in the late 1970s and early ’80s, Lawson portrayed one of the most iconic figures in both advertising and popular culture.

And for the past several years, Lawson had spoken out fiercely about the hazards of smoking, doing a public service announcement for the American Cancer Society in the 1990s, years before he was able to bring himself to quit.

«He tried to speak to the kids, telling them don’t start smoking,» his wife, Susan Lawson, told The Associated Press. «He already knew cigarettes had a hold on him.»

Exactly how many rugged he man types portrayed the Marlboro Man over the years isn’t clear, although Lawson was one of dozens.

His wife said Monday he was friendly with some of the others, including Wayne McLaren, a former rodeo rider who died in 1992 of lung cancer that he blamed on his lifelong smoking habit.

Like Lawson, McLaren spent his final years advocating against smoking. So did David McLean, who died in 1995 of lung cancer that he also blamed on smoking. He was 73.

As the Marlboro Man, Lawson and the others helped turn a brand that had once been marketed as a mild women’s cigarette into the ultimate symbol of American machismo.

Not every Marlboro Man was a cowboy there were also pilots, hunters, weight lifters, miners and other macho characters. But cowboys were clearly the most popular and the most often used.

«The most powerful and in some quarters, most hated brand image of the century, the Marlboro Man stands worldwide as the ultimate American cowboy and masculine trademark, helping establish Marlboro as the best selling cigarette in the world,» the industry publication Advertising Age declared in 1999.

Part of the reason for the brand’s success was that Phillip Morris’ ad agency went to great pains to track down real cowboys, who not only looked rugged but could really do things like rope and ride.

«He had to go out and ride, he needed to prove himself as a cowboy,» Lawson’s wife recalled of her husband’s audition to become a Marlboro Man.

By the time he got the job in 1978, cigarette advertising was no longer allowed on U.S. television, so Lawson appeared in print and billboard ads. His wife still has one from Time magazine.

The ads, often filmed in stunning, picturesque settings in the West always emphasized that it was a real man, not in any way a wimp, who smoked a Marlboro.

Lawson was perfect for the part. The veteran actor had appeared in such Western films and TV shows as «The Shooter,» »Walker, Texas Ranger,» »Tall Tale,» »Bonanza Under Attack» and «The A Team.»

Later, he also became a perfect role model who made a difference in the lives of the people he kept from smoking simply by pointing out what it did to him, said John Seffrin, chief executive officer of the American Cancer Society.

«That’s important,» Seffrin said, «because people stop and think if that happens to Eric Lawson it could happen to me.»

In addition to his wife, Lawson is survived by six children, 18 grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren.

Marlboro cigarettes online — $19.70 per carton! order today while supplies last!

Marlboro is by far the most famous cigarette brand in the world. The reputation of this premium tobacco product is simply impeccable, leaving all other rival brands dreaming about achieving at least half success Marlboro has reached, as millions of smokers across the planet have chosen Marlboro and stay loyal to its superb taste.

Marlboro is marketed by Philip Morris USA in United States and Philip Morris International in all other countries.

Marlboro was named after a street, located in London, UK, where the first Marlboro cigarette was crated. The brand was launched in the United States in 1902, and initially it was oriented at female smokers, being advertised under the slogan Marlboro mild as May.

After the World War II, this brand was re launched. At the same time, its manufacturers introduced a marketing campaign, which was deemed to become one of the most famous advertising strategies ever the iconic Marlboro country headed by Marlboro Man.

Shortly after its introduction, sales of Marlboro cigarettes soared by outstanding 5000%, and the brand become top selling cigarette in the USA.

Marlboro has been the best selling tobacco product in the United States for more than 40 years, and the top selling cigarette brand in the world. Its owner, Philip Morris International is the world’s leading tobacco company, prominent for the best quality of all of its brands, and constant innovation of its product families.

You can purchase tax free Marlboro online in our premium tobacco store, selecting from a wide range of styles

Marlboro Red the iconic Marlboro cigarette, smoked by the famous Marlboro man

Marlboro Gold former Marlboro Lights, is the milder style, offering the same classic taste.

Marlboro Silver former Marlboro Ultra Lights, the mildest of the flagship line.

Marlboro Flavor Note the innovative smoke, equipped with high tech filters and packed in unique and laconic packs

Marlboro Gold Fine Touch and Marlboro Gold Touch the latest addition to Marlboro portfolio. Both styles are king size cigarettes, but slightly slimmer than traditional Marlboros

Marlboro Gold Edge is the compact and slim, king size Marlboro smoke.