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A Marlboro cowboy’s karmic boomerang

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Wayne McLaren is a person who having increased the sales of cigarettes of the Marlboro brand to unprecedented heights spent the rest of his life fighting against the tobacco companies. He was exactly that McLaren, the great promoter of smoking, who at first had been making a great amount of money increasing the innumerable army of smokers and after that became a great advocate of a healthy lifestyle having spent all his fortune to fight against the smoking. He was exactly that Tobacco-man who appealed to millions of viewers with a smug grin: "Welcome to Marlboro Country".

So, we all make mistakes. Usually they are not so serious but sometimes they are just huge. Wayne McLaren, a "Marlboro cowboy” is one of the few people who having made such a mistake tried to make every effort to mend it afterwards. He declared a large-scale anti-tobacco crusade around the world. He fought a hard battle. And he lost completely. In 1992. However, did he?

Wayne McLaren became the most successful selling proposition of Phillip Morris Company, such a dashing brutal cowboy who could do anything as though he wasn’t afraid of the devil itself!

From the screens of TV-sets he made it clear to millions of Americans (and not only Americans!) that exactly those cool brutal guys, like he, a "Marlboro cowboy” was, built such a country as the USA. After the first advertising campaign with McLaren the cigarette sales had soared and the Marlboro brand ranked fourth in the market. And just few years later the Marlboro brand became the best-seller cigarette brand in the USA: these cigarettes were sold more often than any others taken together. So having an image of a brave free and indomitable cowboy Wayne McLaren had been advertising cigarettes for 27 years. And then he realized that he was dying of them.

He barely managed to quit smoking but it was too late. He was diagnosed with nicotine lung cancer and survived a long and torturous course of chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and having lost one lung he understood that he was doomed. But long before his lung removal a dying cowboy embarked on a real anti-smoking war and he became actually a leader, a “banner” of a nascent anti-tobacco movement. Having spent a huge amount of money on attempts to get rid of cancer that was spreading throughout his body he spent not less on a healthy lifestyle popularization.

From TV-screens and in studios he was confessing honestly that he was wrong and that he was responsible for an abrupt rising of mortality from smoking. Just some days before death in an interview from his hospital bed at Hoag Hospital McLaren said in everyone's hearing: “My own smoking habit of 25 years had caught up with me. I've spent the last month of my life in an incubator and I'm telling you it's just not worth it. Tobacco will kill you and I am living proof of it”.

He did not lie. Tobacco did kill him. Representatives of tobacco companies tried to buy his silence bringing suitcases full of money for him. They didn’t understand or didn’t want to understand that a dying man needed no more money. He wouldn’t have taken it with him when he’d died anyway.

That’s why up to his last days Wayne McLaren, the cowboy who had taught millions of people to smoke calling them to the mysterious “Marlboro Country” was trying to make them quit this hazardous habit and warn those who didn’t smoke yet about mortal danger showing with his own life that a real “Marlboro Country” is nowhere but in the oncological dispensary.

Smoking isn’t worth wasting all your money in empty efforts to fight for a lost health at the end of your life. No kind of fashion is worthy of dying for it. No matter how or however much you smoke it’ll inevitably lead you to death.

Some facts about smoking

Physicians who deal with a problem of nicotine addiction have quite a lot of “interesting” facts and stories about smoking. Though, attractiveness of these stories is somehow specific – like many other medical collections.
— Every six seconds on the planet Earth one heavy smoker dies of consequences of smoking and illnesses connected with smoking. It’s hard to imagine but if we lined one hundred people up in our minds in a row this visualizing would be enough to assess a terrifying scope of danger from smoking.

— Further to the conversation about death rates due to smoking: out of all passive smokers living nowadays something about 600000 people will die in a year.

— Out of a hundred people having up to 15 cigarettes a day at least 10 will die of oncological diseases.

— Annually about 15% of all deaths are connected with a coronary artery disease and/or an apoplexy. It accounts about 8 million of people every year. 70% of them smoke or smoke and use alcohol.

A bare statistics

What does a statistics know about smoking? Here are the most interesting facts taken from the statistical study.

— In the world there are about one milliard people who smoke. Those people who are trying to quit or who’ve been smoking for less than for a half of year are not included here.

— A life of an average smoker is usually decreased by 18 years.
— In Russia for every 10 years of smoking each smoker spends a sum of money on cigarettes enough to buy a middle class car. For example it’s a car like Mazda 6, Ford Focus, Chevrolet Lacetti, Skoda Octavia, Audi A4.
— The most smoking country is Lebanon. Though till recently the leaders (though the quality of such a leadership is quite questionable) were Cuba, Mongolia and Russia – one after another. The least smoking country is Bhutan, and the least quantity of smokers relatively to area of the surface are in Madagascar.

Some historical facts.

There are also lots of historical facts concerning smoking.

— When the investigation of the Big Moscow fire in 1634 was being conducted among its main reasons smoking also was mentioned. By the way, the Muscovites were taught to smoke by English – tobacco is not in vain was called an “English poison” at that time. And if before the fire wealthy citizens were subject to fines for smoking and others were imposed a corporal punishment, then after it people who smoked were sentenced to death.

— The country that was first to forbid advertising of cigarettes on Mass Media was Great Britain – the main advocate of “smoking vogue” and it happened in 1965.

— When smoking was only beginning its spread through the Old World not only traders and physicians but also clergymen were trying to convince people that smoking was good for physical health and spiritual purity. It was believed that smoke could frighten delusions away and save people from demon’s machinations, and tobacco was advertised as a panacea against at least four dozens of illnesses.

There are other interesting facts about smoking, for example of gastronomical kind. So, a recommendation to chew a mint gum instead of smoking or in order to beat a tobacco smell down is a mistake: the stronger the mint flavor – the stronger a wish to smoke appears again.

Think about it!