April 2, 2001
Contact: Bonnie Widerburg, (971) 673-1282
Oregon Woman Featured in Anti-chewing Tobacco Ad
Television ads featuring Tina Cary, from the eastern Oregon town of Prairie City, who lost her husband four years ago to cancer caused by chewing tobacco, will begin running today. Since his death, she has spent countless hours sharing the agonizing experience to help others avoid the same fate. Now, she will share her story with millions. The ads will be shown throughout Oregon.
"That's just the beginning," says Ann Blaker, tobacco prevention manager at the Health Services. "The advertisement will be made available throughout the country and is likely to be broadcast in many other states."
In addition to the television ad, Cary also will be featured on a radio ad, Blaker says.
In the emotional television spot, Cary recounts a time when Dan, her very sick husband, asked her how she could still love him. He was disfigured from oral cancer and the surgery that was required for treatment. Cary recounts that Dan was always caring for others, even when he was critically ill. Dan Cary developed oral cancer at the age of 34 and died just 18 months later.
"It was a horrible time," Cary says. "But my husband knew how important it would be to leave a legacy so others could learn from his mistake. He had me take pictures of him after parts of his mouth and tongue were removed. We saved some of the appliances used to hold his jaw together after the bones were broken for surgery."
"Believe me, there was nothing manly about his illness. Guys who think they look cool with a wad of chewing tobacco should see pictures of the man I loved. I hope my story opens the eyes and ears of those who think chewing tobacco is safe," says Cary.
Cary's ad ends with the number of the Oregon Tobacco Quit Line, so that those who are ready to quit will take the step of calling the toll free, confidential service. The phone number in Oregon is 1-877-270-STOP, the Spanish language line is 1-877-2NOFUME and the TTY number is 1-877-777-6534.