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Debi Austin dies — appeared in anti-smoking ‘voicebox’ ads

Posted: 10:20 PM, Feb 27, 2013
Updated: 2013-02-27 22:25:20-05

(LOS ANGELES TIMES) — Deborah “Debi” Austin, a Californian who became a symbol of the anti-smoking movement for her powerful role in advocacy and education, died last week. She was 62.

debivoicebox

The ads appeared in California as well as New York City and other markets.

Austin, of Canoga Park, is perhaps best known for her role in a public-awareness television ad in the mid-1990s and later spots she filmed after being diagnosed with cancer of the larynx and receiving a laryngectomy.

“They say nicotine isn’t addictive,” Austin says in one ad, taking a drag of her smoke. “How can they say that?”

Her raspy voice, poised demeanor in the face of adversity, and dark hole in her throat are unforgettable.

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