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The "Marlboro Man" was first introduced in advertising in 1954, and is still seen in some parts of the world, though not the United States. Numerous models have portrayed the cowboy. Three - Wayne McLaren, David McLean and Dick Hammer, are known to have died from cancer. Sam Elliott's character is based on McLaren, who contracted lung cancer in the early 90's and testified in favor of anti-smoking legislation. The Phillip Morris company tried to deny he had appeared in the ads, then admitted he had. McLaren died a year later.A fourth "Marlboro Man" model, Erik Lawson, died of respiratory failure due to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, in 2014, at the age of 72.
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