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Fact Or Fiction, Did The Marlboro Man Die From Cancer...



Written by Stuart Stevens | Wednesday, 11 June 2008| There are 0 comments

did he really die of cancer like everyone says or is that just an urban myth?

A discussion occurred recently in the Ukmedix newsroom following on from comments on the forum about the world famous Marlboro Man who was the face of one of the most famous advertising campaigns in history. Who was the Marlboro Man and did he really die of cancer like everyone says or is that just an urban myth?

fact or fiction, did the marlboro man die from cancer...

Well the facts are that the Marlboro Man advertised cigarettes in America for almost half a century ending in 1999. The campaign originated as a way to make filtered cigarettes which were considered to be more for the female market look more rugged and masculine. Over the 50 years of the Marlboro Man a number of different actors played the part of the cowboy with the Stetson but probably two of them namely Wayne McLaren and David McLean became the most famous after they both succumbed to lung cancer.

One of the men Wayne McLaren actually started to campaign for antismoking laws before he died at the age of 51 much to the anger of Philip Morris who denied that he had ever appeared in Marlboro advertisement.  This allegation was obviously retracted when his girlfriend produced photographic evidence showing him riding a horse in cowboy country advertising the Marlboro brand. Marlboro cigarettes earned the nickname 'Cowboy killers' as the news spread that Wayne McLaren had died of lung cancer.

Wayne McLaren underwent a lot of chemotherapy and even had one lung removed but none of these treatments worked and eventually the cancer spread into his brain and caused his death.  He even took part in a TV commercial to highlight the dangers of smoking with him lying in a hospital bed just before he died with a voice saying that with all those tubes stuck inside you how can you really be independent.

Another bit of trivia regarding the Marlboro Man is that the first James bond actor George Lazenby played the part of the European Marlboro Man and that in America there were eleven Marlboro Men over the years. The Marlboro Man has been pretty well sidelined because not only does everybody seem to know about the lung cancer story but also but advertising for cigarettes is becoming increasingly difficult due to new rules in Europe and America.

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