ATLANTA (TheBlaze/AP) — You might remember the unnatural, gravely sound of Terrie Hall’s voice as she gave advice to smokers in a graphic government-run ad campaign: “make a video of yourself, before all this happens.”
The North Carolina woman featured in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention anti-smoking campaign died of cancer Monday.
Hall was 53 years old when she passed away at a hospital in Winston-Salem, N.C., federal officials said.
“She was a public health hero,” said Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the CDC. “She may well have saved more lives than most doctors do.”
“If you don’t start, you never have to worry about stopping,” Hall said in her CDC biography, advising people to avoid lighting up a cigarette all together.
A former smoker whose voice box was removed years ago, Hall took a leading role in the campaign that showed how smoking-related cancer ravages the body. Officials believe the “Tips from Former Smokers” campaign led as many as 100,000 Americans smokers to quit.
Here’s more of Hall’s advice for smokers, telling them to make a video of themselves reading a story book or singing a lullaby, because “the only voice my grandsons ever heard, is this one”:
Hall’s first ad showed her putting on a wig, putting in false teeth and covering a hole in her throat with a scarf. It was the campaign’s most popular spot by far, receiving more than 2.8 million views on YouTube:
It was the federal public health agency’s largest and starkest anti-smoking push, and its first national advertising effort.
Hall’s oral and throat cancer was caused by the cigarette smoking she began in high school, CDC officials said. This summer, the cancer spread to her brain. According to the CDC’s bio about the Lexington woman, she was first diagnosed with cancer at age 40.