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Downfall of the Marlboro Men


The Los Angeles Times recently published an article which reinforces the importance of tobacco prevention and control. The article illustrates how time has shown a new perspective on the Marlboro ads (and the men in them) that ran from the 1950s to the late 1990s.

The original ads portrayed the Marlboro Man as “tough, self-sufficient, hard-working. . . he was a rugged but handsome man who did the jobs that needed to be done, and he almost always had a Marlboro cigarette in his mouth” (Los Angeles Times, January 27,2014). However, since that time, at least four of the Marlboro Man actors have died of diseases related to smoking.

Smoking rates in the U.S. have steadily decreased over the past few decades following the 1964 U.S. Surgeon General Report, which provided information about the harmful effects of smoking, and the Master Settlement agreement in 1998, which prevents tobacco companies from using people in their advertisements. However, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the decline of smoking rates in the U.S. has stalled since 2004.

With a 17 percent adult smoking rate, an 11 percent high school student smoking rate, and our annual medical cost incurred in DC from smoking being $243 million, tobacco use is an economic and social issue that requires our attention.

To learn more about what the American Heart Association is doing to prevent and control tobacco use, visit our website at: Control

You can read the complete article in the Los Angeles Times at:

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