Marketing Marlboro Man actor dies of lung disease Eric Lawson, who was the iconic character in a series of ads in the 1970s, died of COPD. Philip Morris, the makers of Marlboro cigarettes, has yet to issue any statement. By Matt WilsonJan. 28, 2014 SHARE Ragan Insider Premium Content At the very least, some Twitter users were making the connection between the news of Larson’s death and the push for people to quit smoking. If a person smokes #tobacco, the single best thing to do for health is to #quitsmoking. http://t.co/SUgviK9s7Q But we know that already 🙂 To read the full story, log in. Become a Ragan Insider member to read this article and all other archived content. Sign up today Already a member? Log in here. Learn more about Ragan Insider.