‘Winston Man’ dead at age 68 from cancer

Alan Landers was the face of Winston cigarettes for two decades. On Friday he died after battling throat cancer in Lauderhill, Florida.
Landers, whose legal name was Allan Levine, began smoking as a child. By the time he was on national billboards and the back of magazines as the “Winston Man” he was smoking up to four cartons of cigarettes a day.

The Daily Mail reports:

‘I was required to smoke on the set; constant smoking was required to achieve the correct appearance of the cigarette, ash and butt length,’ he recalled.

In his later years Landers was a staunch anti-smoking advocate taking his fight into the courts.

IB Times reports:

“I have also become aware of the industry’s deceitful attitude toward its customers,” he said in a blog on the tobacco industry.

In December 1995 Florida attorney Norwood “Woody” Wilner sued on Lander’s behalf the nation’s top cigarette makers. The case was on the docket to begin in April.

Howard said that the former model was looking forward to the trial according to the Miami Herald.

“He was full of fight in his heart and his spirit,” Howard said. “But there’s only so much a human body can take.”

Landers was diagnosed in 1987 with lung cancer. He had to have sections from both of his lungs removed. In 1996 he had open heart and double bypass surgery.

“His body was all scarred up from the operations,” said Landers’ brother, Jack Levine. “Toward the end, he had a quarter of a lung left.”

When he died on Friday he was undergoing treatment for throat cancer.

“Looking back on my career, I am ashamed that I helped promote such a lethal and addictive product to the children and adults of this country. Had I understood then what I now understand – that cigarettes are an addictive poison that kills almost 50% of their users – I would never have participated in their mass marketing,” he said in a blog.

Landers death is not the first of cigarette models, actors Wayne McLaren, David McLean and Dick Hammer who modeled for Marlboro all died from lung cancer.

The trial may not take place. In Florida only a parent, child or spouse of the deceased can pick up a case after a death. Lander’s parents are deceased and he did not have children or a wife. His is just one of 9,000 tobacco victims in Florida suing cigarette manufacturer for failing to warn people in the 1960’s and 1970’s of the dangers of smoking.

“He wanted his justice. He wanted his day in court,” Howard said. “And that’s the challenge with all these cigarette cases … When the courts drag out justice, the individuals die.”

Landers is survived by his brother Jack Levine and nieces and nephews. Funeral arrangements have not yet been made.

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