In the 1980s, David Goerlitz was the image of Winston cigarettes, which are sold by the American company R.J. Reynolds. Goerlitz, a model, was famous throughout the world for his action scenes promoting the brand. Today, however, he is involved in the fight against tobacco and the promotion of vaping.
David Goerlitz decided to end his partnership with Winston the moment cigarette companies began to be suspected of disinformation campaigns. In fact, in the early 1990s, a major scandal broke after the discovery of documents revealing that Big Tobacco had knowingly hidden information about the harmfulness of cigarettes, information that was known since the 1930s.
At the same time, David Goerlitz’s brother was diagnosed with lung cancer. For Goerlitz, it became unconscionable to continue promoting a product that was so obviously harmful to health. The “Winston Man” thus became an emblematic figure of the anti-tobacco movement in the United States. He actively participated in information campaigns in schools to inform children about the dangers of tobacco. However, when Goerlitz became disappointed with the anti-tobacco associations’ strategies, he stopped campaigning for them in 2007.
A tough setback for David Goerlitz
In 2016, “Winston Man” was seduced by A Billion Lives, a film that discussed the benefits of vaping while denouncing the corruption within the tobacco industry. At that time, David Goerlitz once again became an advocate for e-cigarettes and associated products. He became associated with Von Erl, an Austrian e-cig pod manufacturer and one of the film’s sponsors, and became one of the faces of the campaign.
The relationship allowed Goerlitz to once again fight for a cause that gave him meaning. Six months later, however, the model learned that Imperial Brands, a British company that owns the Winston brand, had bought Van Erl following a 2014 deal with R.J. Reynolds.
And so David Goerlitz once again finds himself associated with the Winston brand. The situation is intolerable for a man who thirty-eight years ago decided to fight against the tobacco industry. According to him, the major tobacco companies want to have a hand in the e-cigarette market to better control it, to the detriment of people’s health all over the world.