The Marlboro Man Dies of Smoking Related Disease

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Ben Cohen
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If you needed more proof that smoking cigarettes is one of the deadliest, dumbest activities on the planet, the poster child for smoking, Eric Lawson, the man who portrayed 'The Marlboro Man' in cigarette ads during the late 1970s, has died of respiratory failure.

At 72 years of age, Lawson fell victim to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), an illness that disproportionally affects smokers.

Reports USA Today:

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 from 1978 to 1981. His other credits include "Charlie's Angels," ''Dynasty" and "Baywatch." His wife said injuries sustained on the set of a Western film ended his career in 1997.

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 said her husband was proud of the interview, even though he was smoking at the time and continued the habit until he was diagnosed with COPD.

According to his wife, Lawson understood the damage smoking was doing to him. "He knew the cigarettes had a hold on him," she said. "He knew, yet he still couldn't stop."

The lesson? Don't smoke kids.

For a rather disgusting and graphic understanding of just how devastating smoking is to human lungs, watch the experiment below:

Not a very good idea.