The anti-tobacco advocate who once did bold commercials that showed the long term effects of smoking has died. Debi Austin passed away last week at Valley Presbyterian Hospital in Van Nuys, California. The advocate was termed as a fighter and pioneer by family and friends who were by her side until the end.
“Debi was a pioneer in the fight against tobacco and showed tremendous courage by sharing her story to educate Californians on the dangers of smoking,” said Dr. Ron Chapman of the California state health department. “She was an inspiration for Californians to quit smoking and also influenced countless others not to start,” explained the medical professional.
Austin’s family responded with a statement shortly after her passing saying, “True to Debi’s spirit, she was a fighter to the end and leaves a big hole in our hearts and lives. Debi will be remembered fondly by those who love her to be caring, courageous, very funny and always there to offer advice or lend a hand.”
Debi was 62-years-old when she passed away of cancer on Friday, February 22, 2013. Check out her interview with the California Department of Public Health in the video section of this article.