It was announced yesterday that Eric Lawson, actor, had died at age 72. His cause of death was respiratory failure due to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Eric Lawson, who died of a smoking-related illness, was the Marlboro Man from 1978 to 1981.
Lawson was one of the few actors cast as the smoking cowboy. Usually Philip Morris went with rodeo riders and ranch-hands to give their ads an authentic feel. The image of a tough, rugged man smoking their cigarettes caused the company’s sales to grow tremendously. Philip Morris took a chance on Lawson, who started smoking at 14, because he looked the part.
Though a long-time smoker, Lawson took part in an anti-smoking advertisement for the American Cancer Society in the 1990s that mocked the Marlboro Man campaign. He also gave an interview on an Entertainment Tonight segment during which he spoke of the negative effects of smoking and the health risks.
Read Full Post >
A recent Centers for Disease Control (CDC) report about cigarette use gives us cause for celebration. However, upon reading the entire report, we realize it’s a small, temporary celebration.
The research regarding cigarette use was released in the August issue of Morbidity and Mortality Report. The report states that Americans have decreased their cigarette use by 32.8 percent over the last 12 years. This news is fantastic as the numbers show a constant decline in smoking, giving hope that people are finally letting go of such a harmful habit.
The celebration is cut short, though, when all of the facts regarding tobacco are revealed. While cigarette smoking has decreased, a constant increase in other forms of combustible tobacco use has taken place. During the same 12-year period, the use of pipe tobacco and cigars have seen a 96.9 percent increase.
It seems fair to assume that tax laws were the reason for this shift. The taxes on pipe tobacco and cigars are lower than the rates on cigarettes. It doesn’t seem like anyone really quit smoking, they just switched their products to save money.
Read Full Post >