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Marlboro Man dies: Eric Lawson quit smoking after COPD diagnosis

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Marlboro Man Eric Lawson has died at the age of 72 after a battle with the lung disease known as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease space (COPD). His official cause of death was respiratory failure caused by COPD.

Susan Lawson, his wife, confirmed on Sunday that her husband had passed away in his San Luis Obispo, Calif. home on Jan. 10, 2014, Fox News reported.

Long before he became a Marlboro Man, Eric Lawson began smoking at a very early age. Although he was a smoker from the age of 14, in later years he appeared in an anti-smoking commercial as well as an "Entertainment Tonight" segment in which he discussed the negative side effects of smoking cigarettes. Oddly, he was still a smoker at the time.

Only his COPD diagnosis caused him to quit. By then, it was too late for for this Marlboro Man.

The Marlboro Man television advertising campaign ran from 1954 to 1999, when it was discontinued. It was a very successful campaign, which greatly increased sales immediately upon its introduction.

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