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Debi Austin, who made famous anti-smoking ad, dies at 62

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The woman behind the most recognized—and maybe the most effective—anti-cigarette ad ever made has died in a Los Angeles hospital. Debi Austin, who died Friday in L. A.’s San Fernando Valley, was 62. She first appeared on television in 1996, telling viewers she began smoking at 13 and couldn’t quit. “They say nicotine isn’t addictive,” she uttered in the famous ad, before holding a lit cigarette to a hole in her throat, or stoma, inhaling, and then uttering the line, “How can they say that?”

The ad was considered a triumph of the state health department’s campaign against smoking. The video above is of a reprise ad Austin did in 2010. Obituary: LA Times


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