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Ask Estefanía Evia Villareal (pictured) the best thing about not smoking any more and the 21-year-old will give you a variety of answers, beginning with the way she feels every morning when she wakes up.
“First of all,” she said, “that feeling of being fresh – being clean, fresh, the smell of my sheets and my clothes, (the feeling in) my mouth, my throat.”
Estefanía, a recent graduate of UT San Antonio who plans to get her teaching certificate so she can eventually teach elementary school children, had been a smoker for the past five years, starting in high school.
Earlier this year she decided to kick the habit. It took a little while and there were some stops and starts, but when she finally quit smoking, she did it one day at a time.
She walks for an hour three times a week and works out at a gym every day now that she’s no longer smoking.
And she just keeps going. “My car doesn’t stink anymore. Before, people who didn’t smoke would get into my car and say, ‘It smells awful in here – let’s change cars!’ And I would feel so embarrassed. I mean, it really did smell in my car. Everything smelled.”
Read more about Estefanía and other stories here at the IHPR/SaludToday.