An actor who portrayed the rugged Marlboro Man in cigarette adverts has died at the age of 72.

Eric Lawson died of respiratory failure due to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), on 10 January.

Despite smoking from the age of 14, Lawson appeared in an anti-smoking advert parodying the Malboro Man and an Entertainment Tonight episode to discuss the negative effects of smoking, AP reports.

marlboro man eric lawson

Eric Lawson died on 10 January at his home in California

Lawson’s wife Susan said he had been proud of the interview though he was smoking at the time and continued until he was diagnosed with COPD.

“He knew the cigarettes had a hold on him,” she said. “He knew, yet he still couldn’t stop.”

Lawson is the latest in a “substantial” line of models and actors that worked on Malboro adverts who have died from smoking-related illnesses, Liberty Voice writes.

“David McLean, David Millar, Dick Hammer and Wayne McLaren – whom Philip Morris, the makers of Marlboro, denied was ever a ‘Marlboro Man’ per se are some of the other male performers who have died from smoking related illnesses,” it adds.

The main cause of COPD is smoking, the NHS states online. It adds:

"The likelihood of developing COPD increases the more you smoke and the longer you've been smoking. This is because smoking irritates and inflames the lungs, which results in scarring. Over many years, the inflammation leads to permanent changes in the lung. The walls of the airways thicken and more mucus is produced. Damage to the delicate walls of the air sacs in the lungs causes emphysema and the lungs lose their normal elasticity. The smaller airways also become scarred and narrowed. These changes cause the symptoms of breathlessness, cough and phlegm associated with COPD. Some cases of COPD are caused by fumes, dust, air pollution and genetic disorders, but these are rarer."

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  • A stop smoking campaign which shows a tumour growing from a cigarette was launched in December 2012. According to the Department of Health (DoH), just 15 cigarettes can cause a mutation than can lead to cancerous tumours. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/12/27/shocking-anti-smoking-advert-cancer-cigarette-tumour-tv_n_2370655.html">Read the full story here.</a>


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  • Five Ways To Quit Smoking

    Battle the addiction with these top tips by hypnotherapist, <a href="www.elledormerhypnotherapy.co.uk" target="_hplink"><strong>Elle Dormer</strong></a>.

  • Close Your Eyes

    "Close your eyes and take 3 deep breaths in and out. Now build a mental picture of yourself in the future as a non smoker. "Make it real by filling in the detail - where you are, what you're doing, who you're with and how much better you look and feel. This is known as future pacing. If you can imagine yourself having achieved your goal you a mentally a step closer to it."

  • Plan Your Escape

    "Smokers often use cigarettes as a form of escapism. To have a break away from their desk after a stressful call. Or to provide thinking time when they are procrastinating. "Go for a brisk walk instead. Or to the kitchen to make a cup of tea. Any simple, familiar task that we can do without much thought allows us to simultaneously access our unconscious or 'zone out' which can be both relaxing and enable greater creative thought."

  • Imagine Other People's Disappointment

    "Make a list of all the people (alive or dead) in your life who care for you - or have cared for you, like your friends, partner, parents or children. Then close your eyes and imagine them all together gathered in a room. "You are standing before them with a large beautifully gift wrapped box. This present represents you quitting smoking. Explain this to them in your mind. See or imagine their reactions. "Make them real. The relief, love, pride, appreciation. Then imagine asking for the gift back and how sad and disappointed they would be. And resolve that you cannot do this to the people you love."

  • Breathe!

    "Cigarettes do not relax you. Nicotine is a stimulant so it is actually making you edgier and more stressed by elevating your heart rate and releasing stress hormones like adrenalin and cortisol into your blood stream. "Try an experiment: replace one of your regular cigarettes of the day with the following pattern of breathing. Breathe in for a count of 4 and out for a count of 8. Do this 10 x, consciously relaxing your body on every out breath. "This will physiologically de-stress you by slowing your heart rate and releasing endorphins. And prove to you you can truly relax yourself without a cigarette.

  • Use Your Imagination

    "Take a moment somewhere quiet and close your eyes. Remember a time when you felt really confident, relaxed and in control. Take yourself back to that time, fill in the details and make it real. When you're feeling those emotions at their strongest, squeeze our thumb and forefinger together. "Clear your mind and repeat. Then practice recalling those helpful, positive emotions at points during the day by squeezing your thumb and forefinger together. The physical trigger should help to access those beneficial feelings that will help at moments of weakness."