smoking momI think the main reason why I never smoked is because my mom was a chain smoker. I hated the smell--it seemed to permeate everyone and everything around us. Even though she smoked for decades, she gave it up after one of her many mandas. This practice is common in Latin America. You ask God or a Saint for help, such as healing someone, and then you do or give up something in exchange.

Years later, after learning about the direct link between tobacco usage and cancer, we were grateful she had quit.

Read more ¿Qué más?When love is involved, who cares if you come from different worlds!

During my recent visit to Chile, I was shocked to see just how prevalent smoking still is there. I believe that nearly 40 percent of Chileans smoke and they get started quite young. I'm sure that the younger you get started the harder it is to quit. And although in general I think that people should be able to make their own personal choices. This is one area where I welcome government intervention! After all, it is an addiction.

I think that the main reason why cigarette smoking has decreased dramatically in the U.S. is because of the laws created and enforced by our government. Since the 70s there have been prominent warnings and heavy promotion on the effects of cigarette smoking, bans on tobacco advertising, and restrictions on where you can smoke.

Personally, I think that the recent multi-million dollar "Tips from Smokers" campaign aimed at helping Americans kick the habit has been very effective. Have you seen the TV spot that features former smoker Terrie putting on her wig and voice box? I cringe every time I see and hear it. It's heartwrenching! Another spot features a teenager who was hospitalized for asthma after being exposed to secondhand smoke.

Despite the warnings, stories and commercials I still have friends who smoke around their kids, but that number is dropping dramatically. That's why I was so happy to see that CVS decided to stop selling tobacco products by October 1. I am sure that other businesses will follow.

I hope that this latest move makes the tobacco industry so unprofitable that it can no longer survive as a business in America. So now that there are less dollars at play, what if the government made cigarette smoking illegal? Unfortunately as the tobacco business shrinks here in America the tobacco companies will turn even more of their focus to nuestras patrias in Latin America. 

Image via Thinkstock

Add Comment How do you feel about all the restrictions around cigarette smoking?
About the author
Lucia, Co-founder and EVP of MamásLatinas, has led Hispanic media brands such as Univision's Galavision, MTV tr3s and People en Español. When Lucia is not traveling for work or in her office in NYC, she's at home with her husband and two children in New Rochelle, New York. 

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