Smoking Kills Another Marlboro Man
Former bit-part actor dies of COPD
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 27, 2014 3:47 AM CST
Updated Jan 27, 2014 6:40 AM CST
Lawson didn't stop smoking until he was diagnosed with COPD.   (AP Photo/Toby Talbot, File)

(Newser) – Eric Lawson, who portrayed the rugged Marlboro man in cigarette ads during the late 1970s, has died. He was 72. Lawson died earlier this month of respiratory failure due to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, his wife Susan says. Lawson was an actor with bit parts on such TV shows as Baretta and The Streets of San Francisco when he was hired to appear in print Marlboro ads.

A smoker since age 14, Lawson later appeared in an anti-smoking commercial that parodied the Marlboro man and an Entertainment Tonight segment to discuss the negative effects of smoking. Susan says her husband was proud of the interview, even though he was smoking at the time. "He knew the cigarettes had a hold on him," she says. "He knew, yet he still couldn't stop." Other actors and models who pitched Marlboro cigarettes have died of smoking-related diseases including David Millar, who died of emphysema in 1987, and David McLean, who died of lung cancer in 1995.

Copyright 2016 Newser, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. AP contributed to this report.

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Showing 3 of 67 comments
Box1Car
Jan 16, 2015 11:37 AM CST
My dad was a lifetime smoker (also a 3-war vet, Battle of Bulge, Korea & VietNam) He also died at age 72 but at what age did he REALLY die> more like his early 60s suffered from COPD could not exist above 5000ft (no air) so couldn't visit relatives in Albq, NM (1mile elevation) or Denver, CO (mile high city) and here I'm at age 75 ride my Harley wherever I want, even up to Sunspot, NM observatory at 11,000 ft Point is SMOKING puts a huge LIMIT on your life, it destroys your health, NO LIFE
toomanycars
Jan 28, 2014 11:44 PM CST
Also how many children going to the Superbowl will get high just being in the stands with the legal stoners?
toomanycars
Jan 28, 2014 11:41 PM CST
If you smoke cigarettes people look down on you and tell you the smoke stinks but if you smoke pot everyone loves you and nobody complains about the smoke. Whats the difference? You get three times more tar from pot and do you think children will get high off of cigarette smoke or pot smoke? Why is everyone a hypocrite?