Not Even the Marlboro Man was Immune to COPD

by | Dec 13, 2016 | Lifestyle, Smoking

In the world of advertising, few ad campaigns had the longevity and level of success of the “Marlboro Man.”

The iconic images featuring a man wearing a white hat while working on a ranch with a cigarette in his mouth appeared on billboards, magazines and TV commercials for decades. During the ad campaign’s run from 1954 to 1999, the Marlboro Man became an American pop-culture icon and a symbol of masculinity. But for those actors who portrayed the Marlboro Man in ads, embodying the tough, hard-working man’s man came with a price.

In 2014, the Los Angeles Times reported that at least four actors who played the Marlboro Man character had died of smoking-related diseases. One of the Marlboro Men, Eric Larson, died of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), an ailment most frequently caused by smoking. Larson smoked his first cigarette at the age of 14 and died at the age of 72.

“He knew the cigarettes had a hold on him,” Susan Lawson, Eric’s wife, said to the Associated Press. “He knew, yet he still couldn’t stop.”

It seems likely other actors, models and actual cowboys who portrayed the character have battled chronic lung diseases as well, but the circumstances of their deaths have been kept private.

In 1998, the Master Settlement Agreement was reached between tobacco companies and state attorneys general of 46 states, five U.S. territories and the District of Columbia. This agreement forbade Big Tobacco from using humans or cartoons on tobacco advertising in the United States. This meant tobacco ad campaigns, such as the Marlboro Man and Joe Camel, the cartoon mascot of Camel cigarettes, had to ride off into the sunset.

In his prime, the Marlboro Man encapsulated the allure of smoking across all ages and genders. From his rugged stance and solemn demeanor, the figure inspired generations of youth to pick up a cigarette, and unfortunately many are paying for it today.

COPD is the third leading cause of death in the United States, with more than 11 million people being diagnosed and millions more may have it and not know it. Those people who dealing with the disease have faced gradual decline with few options. However, as clinics such as the Lung Health Institute ( have developed a beneficial alternative in cellular therapy, hope may be here.

The Lung Health Institute uses cells derived from the patient’s own body. The cells are extracted from the blood, separated and returned intravenously. The cells then travel through the heart and into the lungs where they aggregate in the pulmonary trap. Once there, the cells may promote healing.

Since opening their first clinic in 2013, the Lung Health Institute has treated more than 3,000 people with lung disease nationwide. In a recent study conducted by the Lung Health Institute, 83 percent of patients reported an improvement in quality of life.

One of those people is Herbert K., of Dallas, Texas, whose last name is abbreviated for medical privacy. Herbert stated that when he first got up in the morning, he could not walk from the bedroom to the kitchen without having to stop and lean on the counter to catch his breath.

After receiving cellular therapy at the Lung Health Institute, Herbert and his wife noticed improvements, reporting that Herbert and his wife walk a mile at least three days a week.

“I walked out one morning and said ‘I can breathe,’” Herbert said. “It has just gotten better from that point on.”

The Lung Health Institute operates cellular therapy clinics in Nashville, TN; Pittsburgh, PA; Scottsdale, AZ; Tampa, FL and Dallas, TX. If you or someone you know is interested in learning more about cellular therapy, and the Lung Health Institute, please contact us or call 888-745-6697.

Contact Us

Call Toll-Free: 888-745-6697


See if you qualify for our cellular therapy.



Read More Related Articles

How Altitude Impacts Your Lung Health

According to research published in the journal Expert Review of Respiratory Medicine, the higher your altitude, the lower the oxygen tension in the air and the lower the barometric pressure. Though most people’s lungs effectively adapt to these types of environmental conditions, those with less-healthy lungs don’t react to these conditions as well.

Emphysema Breathing Exercises

Emphysema Breathing Exercises

Emphysema breathing exercises can help your lungs work better and help you relax during shortness of breath. Check out our emphysema breathing exercises here.

Best Positions to Reduce Shortness of Breath

Best Positions to Reduce Shortness of Breath

Shortness of breath is a common symptom of lung disease. People with lung disease know that it can be hard to reduce shortness of breath when it happens. Keep reading for best positions to reduce shortness of breath here.

4 Tips for Easier Traveling with COPD

Though it can be fun to spend some time away from home, when you have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), getting from one location to another can be a little more complex. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to make travel easier, and here are four tips that can help.

3 Tips for Exercising When You’re on Oxygen

If your COPD is advanced enough that you’re on oxygen, this may make it harder to engage in physical activity, but it certainly doesn’t make it impossible to get some fitness into your life. Here are three things you can do (after you get your doctor’s approval, of course) to build your strength and endurance, even if you have an oxygen tank.