As someone who started smoking in college, I am super happy to see that more and more universities across the nation are going for open air smoking bans in their campuses. While I can't really say for sure what prompted me to start smoking at 21, I can undoubtedly say that I used to depend on cigarettes to help me deal with the pressures of college life. I clearly remember taking tons of smoking breaks during marathon studying sessions at the library. I'm pretty much convinced that if there had been an absolute ban on smoking in my college campus, I would've quit smoking much earlier than I eventually did. 

You see, my then boyfriend--now my husband--had to get bladder cancer for me to quit almost seven years after I got hooked on that nasty habit. 

Read more in ¿Qué más?: Shocking trend: Teen smoking is a major problem

Smoking is one of the worst things that you can do to your body. Although I wasn't the one having to deal with cancer, I've seen first hand what a diagnosis can do--especially when you're still young and think you're invincible. My husband started smoking as a teenager and even though he was never told that his tobacco use was directly responsible for his cancer, it certainly didn't help. 

While critics are outraged at the idea of losing the possibility of smoking in yet one more place, I'm hoping they eventually get the point: smoking kills you and everyone around you! With studies showing that between a quarter to a third of all college students smoke and tobacco use remaining at epidemic proportions for those ages 18 to 25 across the country, it's imperative we do something to put a stop to it. 

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That's why I applaud the City University of New York system for, whose tobacco use and advertising goes into effect in September, as well as California's state system, which will become smoke-free next year. Meanwhile, the University of Missouri at Columbia will follow suit in 2014. 

What do you think about the ban in college campuses? Share your thoughts by leaving us a comment below.  

Image via francisco_osorio/flickr 

About the author

Roxana A. Soto is a Staff Writer for MamásLatinas. She's a bilingual and bicultural journalist born in Peru and raised in Mexico, Argentina, South Africa and Miami. She's also mom to a first-grader and a preschooler. She loves languages, traveling and good food – especially if it's cooked by someone else.

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Filed Under: smoking, cancer, diseases
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