For Immediate Release: September 17, 2013
Contact: Media Relations
Statement from CDC Director Tom Frieden on the passing of Terrie Hall, former Tips From Former Smokers ad participant
I am deeply saddened to hear that Terrie Hall has passed away after a courageous fight against cancer caused by the cigarette smoking she started in high school. Terrie wanted to save people from having to go through the sickness and surgeries she endured. She is an inspiration.
Her story, now known to millions, motivated tens of thousands of smokers to quit. In sharing her story, she saved thousands of people from tobacco-related illness, disability, and death. I am reminded of the words of a former CDC Director, Dr. Bill Foege, who said that public health is at its best when we see, and help others see, the faces and the lives behind the numbers.
I believe that for me and for literally millions of other Americans, Terrie put a face to the 440,000 people killed by smoking each year in the US. Terrie is one of the more than 1,200 Americans who were killed by smoking in the past 24 hours. Because of her courage, we both know more about the lives of these numbers – and because of her impact, there will be fewer such deaths in the future.
I feel privileged to have gotten to know Terrie personally as a friend, and I – along with everyone else whose life she touched – will miss her greatly. I offer my condolences to Terrie’s family, friends, and all who knew and cared about her.
Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H.
Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
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