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An RJ Reynolds Tobacco Holdings, Inc. cigarette brand that contains no additives. After a settlement with the FTC, RJRT added a warning "No additives in our tobacco does not mean a safer cigarette" to their cigarette packs for a while.

Warning: Smoking kills.

Winston's motto is "Winston tastes good like a cigarette should". Like Philip Morris' Marlboro Man, Winston used a reoccurring male model (the Winston Man) to sell its cigarettes. Where Philip Morris' used the rugged Marlboro Man to position Marlboros as the cigarette of the All-American macho, outdoorsy, non-sissy ur-male, the Winston Man was used to position puffing on death sticks as a sophisticated, stylish, and romantic pursuit. The man R.J. Reynolds hired to achieve this end was male model Alan Landers. In the '60s and '70s, he earned roughly $80K a year to appear in magazine ads and on billboards, wearing tuxedos and thick wool sweaters. Of course, he always had a stinkin' Winston butt in his hand. Even when he wasn't working on R.J. Reynolds' dime, when he got work in TV and movies he was contractually obliged to take roles where he was shown smoking.

Landers initially seemed like the perfect Winston Man. He had these dark James Bond looks. More importantly he had been smoking since the age of 9. So he knew his way around a nice hard pack of smokes.

One problem emerged with Landers. He got lung cancer. In 1987 he was diagnosed with lung cancer, a cancer with a 5% five-year survival rate. Doctors removed a large part of one of his lungs to try and stop the disease. It halted the spread temporarily. In 1992 Landers was diagnosed with a cancerous growth in his other lung. He had much of that lung removed. In 1996 he also required a double by pass operation.

His various surgeries left him chronically short of breath, disfigured, and unable to speak with anything but a rasping voice.

Despite the surgery and cancer, Landers managed to survive. He helped testify against big tobacco before congress. He's now the World Health Organization's ambassador against smoking.

Landers himself was let go by R.J. Reynolds in the mid-'70s and replaced by a new Winston Man named Ray Leopard. Landers was released from his contract not because he was diagnosed with cancer but because the sophisticated Winston Man was getting his ass beaten on store shelves by the Marlboro Man. Winston was losing market share badly and it wanted a more rugged image for its Winston Man.

Strangely enough, Leopard has recently launched a lawsuit against R.J. Reynolds claiming $65 million for psychological damage. Unlike Landers, Leopard never got cancer. He's suing for emotional damage. He claims helping selling so many smokes that have killed so many people troubles him and only $65 million can make him feel better. His case will probably be thrown out of court (filed in Arkansas) because a state law specifically prevents a person for seeking such damages for injuries suffered by others.

If former Winston men Landers and Leopard are not troubling enough for R.J. Reynolds, their third and most successful Winston Man Dave Goerlitz also took a highly publicized stand against big tobacco. Goerlitz appeared in a series of successful Winston Man "search and rescue" ads in the '80s. Most of his ads featured him repelling out of helicopters and down the sides of mountains. It was exciting stuff to smokers who had yet to be introduced to the term "extreme sports". Goerlitz helped move Winston cigarettes from the #4 position to the #2 selling smoke. He himself quit in 1988 after suffering from a minor stroke caused by smoking. He signed on as a spokesman for the Great American Smoke-Out campaign.

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