There’s no way to get around it: smoking is disastrous to our health. The proof is in the fact that even the strongest-looking, sturdiest of men have been weakened and ultimately destroyed by puffing on cigarettes.
Eric Lawson, who represented the iconic Marlboro Man in the late 1970s and early 1980s, recently passed away at age 72 from lung disease. Eric started smoking at the crazy young age of 14 and, ironically, died from the very thing that brought him fame and several opportunities to guest star in popular TV programs. And sadly, but not surprisingly, Eric is one of several Marlboro Men to die from complications related to smoking.
Ex-Marlboro Men David Millar died of emphysema in 1987 and David McLean and Wayne McLaren died of lung cancer. Before his death, Eric became an anti-smoking advocate who appeared on talk shows and in commercials, where he railed against the vice. But, even as he was warning others of the dangers of smoking, Eric’s wife says he was still a habitual smoker who knew cigarettes had a hold on him but “couldn’t stop.” He is survived by 6 children, 18 grandchildren, and 11 great-grandchildren.
Too many of us know loved ones who are smart as whips and aware of how smoking is cutting their lives short, yet still can’t physically and mentally detach themselves from the habit. But there’s some positive news here, too: the number of adults who smoke has been steadily decreasing and actually dropped from 24.7 percent in 1997 to 18 percent in 2012.
Considering the fact that you can no longer smoke in most public places, the very idea of a “Marlboro Man” seems ancient enough to belong in a museum. There’s really no way to glamorize smoking these days, which is a huge step forward in the right direction.
So, while we bid good-bye to yet another person whose life was cut short from cigarettes, we can also take solace in the fact that -- hopefully -- far fewer unnecessary deaths from smoking will occur in the future.
Have you ever smoked or tried to quit smoking?
Image via ericandrewlewis/Flickr