Tobacco industry, billions of dollars to compensate families of Marlboro Men

Dressed in a hat and denim jacket or shirt, with piercing eyes and a cigarette at the end of the lips! Who was not keen to look like a Marlboro Man and to smoke the same tobacco brand?

In the 1970s, the Marlboro Men were the icons of the best-selling brand in the world. Embodied by 12 different cowboys, the concept had become a whole culture, a symbol, a myth...

Ironically, five out of the twelve actors lost their lives due to a lung disease.

Marlboro Men in the grip of Philip Morris products


Five of the Marlboro Men died from lung disease due to their addiction to tobacco. These are: David Millar, who passed away in 1987, Wayne McLaren in 1992, David McLean in 1995, Dick Hammer in 1999 and Eric Lawson in 2014.

According to their relatives, they were forced to smoke up to five packs of cigarettes during filming and shooting, until achieving the best advertising pose.

Even worse, Philip Morris frequently sent Marlboro cartridges to his cowboys as a gift. They were poisoned gifts whose health dangers the company was well aware of. Indeed, since the 1950s, epidemiological studies unquestionably proved the toxicity of tobacco.

Philip Morris convicted by the courts on several occasions

In 1996, the widow of David McLean, the Marlboro Man who died at the age of 73 from lung cancer, decided to file a lawsuit against Philip Morris.

She put the blame on the cigarette manufacturer, holding the company responsible for the death of her late husband. According to her, Philip Morris had made her husband totally addicted to nicotine to the point of being unable to give up smoking until his death.

This was not the only complaint filed against the group. In 2008, Philip Morris was sentenced to pay 8 million USD (5 million as a fine and 3 million in compensation) to the widow and son of a former smoker who died of lung cancer.

In 2014, the widow of Jess Williams, a heavy smoker of Marlboro who was also a victim of tobacco, won the lawsuit after 10 years of fighting the case in court. Philip Morris was ordered to pay her 145 million USD in punitive damages for the death of her husband.

Philip Morris was not the only one to have been sued

After Philip Morris, R. J. Reynolds was also sentenced to compensate the families of tobacco victims. In 2014, the second largest tobacco group in America was ordered to pay 23.6 billion USD in punitive damages to the widow of Michael Johnson who died in 1996 at the age of 36. The widow had filed a complaint in 2006 against the cigarette manufacturer, claiming that R. J. Reynolds intentionally concealed the real danger of the cigarettes it was marketing.

This sentence was strongly contested by the group R.J. Reynolds who lodged an appeal against such decision.

Your rating: None
Advertising Program          Terms of Service          Copyright          Useful links          Social networks          Credits