Why it’s so hard to stop smoking, and so easy if you never start was Debbie Austin’s message to try and stop kids from starting to smoke. And if you have to smoke, don’t smoke tobacco, chew sugarless gum. Check out the February 26, 2013 news release from the California Department of Public Health, “Iconic Anti-Tobacco Advocate, Debi Austin, Loses Battle to Cancer.”
There’s a bill in the Sacramento legislature pending, Assembly Bill 746, and it may or may not pass banning smoking in Sacramento’s duplexes, fourplexes, and apartment dwellings in Sacramento. If it doesn’t pass, smoke from someone’s apartment or condominium may still waft into your residence from a variety of sources in addition to smoking. See the February 28, 2013 Sacramento Bee article, “California bill would ban smoking in multi-unit housing.”
“Californians should be able to breathe clean air in their own homes,” Assemblyman Marc Levine, a San Rafael Democrat who introduced the legislation, Assembly Bill 746, explained to the Sacramento Bee. Standalone homes would not be affected because Levine is taking aim at health hazards of secondhand smoke in residences that share walls, ceilings, floors or ventilation systems.
Assembly Bill 746 exempts people in Sacramento living in unattached homes/private residences not linked to other dwellings, apartments, condominiums, or rooms. The only issue is it doesn’t go far enough. Someone cooking or BBQ grilling meat, smoking meats, frying in hot fat, and other forms of using heat to create aromas of smoke or food, still is going to waft through the air vents into your apartment, making it difficult for seniors, asthmatics, and babies to breathe clean air indoors.
You’d be exempt if you lived in a private home not attached to another dwelling. But that still doesn’t prevent you from grilling in your backyard and your neighbor having to lock the doors and windows in Sacramento’s triple digit summer heat.
California’s most well-known anti-tobacco advocate, Debi Austin, passed away after a long and courageous battle against cancer
In the meantime, when it comes just to smoking, California is remembering its most well-known anti-tobacco advocate. On Friday, February 22, 2013, California’s most well-known anti-tobacco advocate, Debi Austin, passed away at the age of 62 after a long and courageous battle against cancer that began in her early forties. First appearing in the 1996 California television ad “Voicebox,” her story illustrated the dangers of smoking and made a powerful impact in the fight against tobacco. “Voicebox” is the most-recognized and talked about California tobacco control advertisement.
“We are saddened by Debi’s death. She exemplified the real toll tobacco takes on a person’s body,” said California Department of Public Health Director and State Public Health Officer Dr. Ron Chapman, according to the February 26, 2013 news release, Iconic Anti-Tobacco Advocate, Debi Austin, Loses Battle to Cancer.
“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. She was an inspiration for Californians to quit smoking and also influenced countless others not to start. We trust she will continue to touch those that hear her story, particularly teens and young adults. She will be greatly missed.”
After making “Voicebox,” Debi became an anti-tobacco advocate with a personal and passionate mission to keep kids from smoking. She touched those that listened to her at schools, universities, prisons and city council meetings. Debi’s recent ads include “Candle” and “Stages” which aired in 2011. To hear her personal story, watch “Debi Austin on Tobacco.” Her larynx had been removed at age 41 due to cancer. She had started smoking at the age of 13 and according to news reports, she explained that she was unable to quit.
About the California Tobacco Control Program (CTCP)
CTCP was established by the Tobacco Tax and Health Protection Act of 1988. The voter-approved act instituted a 25-cent tax on each pack of cigarettes and earmarked five cents to fund California’s tobacco control efforts, which support local health departments and community groups, an aggressive media campaign, and tobacco-related evaluation and surveillance.
California’s tobacco control efforts are estimated to have saved more than one million lives and resulted in $134 billion in health care savings. Lung cancer rates are also declining in California three-times faster than the rest of the United States. Learn more at TobaccoFreeCA. Also check out the site, “Elk Grove Considers Banning Smoking In All Apartment Complexes.”