WASHINGTON (WJZ) — The woman behind a dramatic and graphic anti-smoking commercial is being honored.
Mary Bubala explains you may not know her name but you’ve likely heard her voice.
Her name is Terrie Hall, a former smoker who’s known for appearing in anti-smoking TV ads. Hall is being honored by the CDC with a special award for her courage in telling her story.
“Everywhere I go I’m recognized as that lady on TV,” said Hall.
Hall started smoking at age 17. Now, 72, she was diagnosed with cancer 13 years ago and had to have her larynx, or voice box, removed.
Hall says working with the CDC anti-smoking campaign changed her life
“I’ve always said that if we can just have one person quit smoking, just one person never to start, then we will have done an achievement,” said Hall.
Right now, about 3500 young people a day try smoking for the first time.
“Ninety-percent of smokers start before the age of 18 and 99 percent start before the age of 26. If we can just get our next generation to not take that first cigarette before the age of 26, that generation could become tobacco free,” said US Surgeon General Regina Benjamin.
The CDC’s graphic anti-smoking campaign is aimed at them.
Terrie’s ad is hard to watch, but it’s also hard to forget.
More than 400,000 people die from smoking each year.