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“The Ugly Truth” an interview with David Goerlitz

Nov 11, 2016
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The Ugly Truth

Mark Evans Interview with David Goerlitz,

former “Winston Man”, co-star of A Billion Lives

Vapor B2B Reporting

SFATA Conference

“Ninety three percent of kids start smoking cigarettes under the age of seventeen. While I was an employee for R. J. Reynolds during the years of 1981 to 1988, I did not know that we were losing twelve hundred smokers a day. Companies like R. J. Reynolds, Philip Morris and Lorillard Tobacco needed to replace these aged and doomed smokers with people that can keep using their products for a long time, like kids and teenagers.”

The Industry spent millions of dollars a day making sure that cigarette ads were visible almost everywhere you turn. David started smoking cigarettes when he was only fourteen, the legal age to smoke Cigarettes was eighteen years old. He, like many other kids and teens did not know the effects that cigarettes could have on their lives, because no one told them.

“When I modeled for Winston, I was clearly told that young people were the market that we were going after.” When you look back at some of the advertising that David Goerlitz participated in you will notice the style of marketing. “At the Winston ad shoots we were told to epitomize the robust and virile man, it was made clear to me that this image was important because kids like to role play and we were to provide the attractive role models for them to follow.” Well this worked and brought Winston from the number four to the number two top selling brands, Unfortunately they used child marketing to get to these numbers. “I was the Winston man for about seven and a half years and I enjoyed modeling and the comfy salary but I learned first hand the marketing tactics of the nation’s number one leading cause of premature deaths and disease.”

1988 came along and David’s brother was diagnosed with Cancer,

“ I looked into the eyes of my children, who knew that their uncle was dying from smoking and my son told me, dad you need to quit”

During David’s generation sixty to seventy five percent smoked cigarettes in the 60’s and 70’s. It was marketed all over television with relatable quotes to connect to , Winston tastes good like a cigarette should. Winston even sponsored television shows like The Flintstones and even had commercials of the cartoons using their product.


“In 1981 R. J. Reynolds and I, standing at the top of Mt. Evans in Colorado, I am the only one wearing an oxygen mask at 12,000 feet because I am a smoker. Not one of the CEO’s COO”s from the tobacco industry smoked, It was such a hypocritical thing and a blatant sign but I did not get it. I was modeling, playing a role and making money.”

Winston Man quits smoking publicly in 1988 when he realizes what R. J. Reynolds was doing and how this company was using his face to lure children and teenagers to get addicted to smoking cigarettes. “Over the years youngsters have come up to me for an autograph because they have seen me on billboards and magazines. I have had children tell me they started to smoke Winstons because of me.

“For that I will always feel fear, anger and guilt, I will have to deal with this for the rest of my life and that is the ugly truth.”  

Vapor B2B, LLC Reports

Tiffany Kelley (content@vaporb2b.com)

Chief Editor / COO

Mark Evans (president@vaporb2b.com)

Publisher / CFO

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