- Special Features
Blogs & Columns
- Fun & Games
Terrie Hall, an anti-smoking advocate who appeared in television ads for the Centers for Disease Control, has died at age 53 after a battle with oral cancer.
Hall had been diagnosed with the disease in 2001 when she was 40, but kept smoking even as she had radiation treatments, notes The Inquisitr. “I didn’t think I had to quit. The radiation was getting rid of the cancer, so I could still smoke,” she said in her CDC bio.
But after receiving that diagnosis, doctors told her that she had throat cancer and underwent a laryngectomy. The cancer spread to her brain this summer.
Hall appeared in one of the graphic “Tips From Smokers” commercials that began airing last year. She is seen putting on her wig, fake teeth and a tube in her stoma, the hole in her neck that allowed her to breathe. She narrated the commercial using an artificial voice box, showing how she had gone from cheerleader to cancer patient.
Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the CDC, told Fox News that he was “deeply saddened” by the news. “Terrie wanted to save people from having to go through the sickness and surgeries she endured,” he added. “She is an inspiration.”
Hall lived in Lexington, North Carolina and was a tireless advocate against smoking. “Not everybody walks around with a hole in their neck,” she told Fox in 2012. “Not everybody gets cancer. But some form, some way, somehow, tobacco can and will affect your life.”
The CDC estimates that the ads have worked, helping 100,000 smokers stop smoking.
“In sharing her story, she saved thousands of people from tobacco-related illness, disability, and death,” Frieden said. “I am reminded of the words of a former CDC director, Dr. Bill Foege, who said that public health is at its best when we see, and help others see, the faces and the lives behind the numbers.”
image: YouTube screenshot