One of the ultimate ironies, relating to lung cancer caused by cigarette smoking, is to see the male model icon for the tobacco industry’s “Winston” print advertising die after a long bout with multiple types of cancers including lung cancer. Smoking takes another life. The long-term health care costs to society based on known carcinogenic effects of cigarette/tobacco smoking are staggering, but cigarettes continue to pollute the lungs of young and old in the US and worldwide. Alan Landers, who was the Winston male model in print advertising in the 1960’s and 1970’s also sued the tobacco industry under various claims for leading him down the cancer path of disaster. However, he died before any resolution of his Florida suit against the tobacco purveyors-several having employed him as their exclusive print icon touting Winston cigarettes.
First, Alan Landers was diagnosed with cancer in his lung. He later developed further lung cancer in the left lobe, than later had heart related surgeries.
Landers was not survived by any of his parents nor did he have a wife or child surviving him. Under Florida law, where his case against the cigarette industry was pending, this created legal obstacles to his suit going forward. It is unclear what the status of the suit will be after his death. When cancers are caused by known carcinogens, the civil justice system often provides a remedy. Cigarettes constitute one of the small category of known dangerous, cancer causing consumer products freely distributed in the United States, which are known to be strongly associated with cancers, including lung cancer. For example, our government (Food and Drug Administration/FDA) will normally prohibit sale of a carcinogen in a product strongly associated with cancers. Cigarettes continue their "grandfather" status despite the massive toll on our healthcare system and on human health.
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