CSUB student shares how breathe freely campaign helped her

By Chantel Varges/Reporter

By Chantel Varges

Sarah Montano is one of CSU Bakersfield’s students who stopped smoking since the breathe freely campaign started in September 2017.

Montano is a mother of two and a double major psychology and journalism student who will be graduating in the Spring of 2019.

Montano, 33, began smoking when she was in high school. She had to quit at the age of 20 when she found out she was pregnant with her first son. Since then, she was smoke free for 10 years.

In 2014, she got a divorce and it put her through a lot of stress and as a result she had a relapse. Montano smoked a little less than a pack a day for three years until the ban of smoking on campus. Montano admits that at first she was angry of the ban of smoking on campus.

“I thought it was kind of discriminatory against older students because I never really saw younger students smoking on campus. After the first week though I realized it wasn’t a big deal. My two kids have been really on me about quitting and this gave me the extra push to stop,” said Montano.

Montano shares that the hardest part about quitting has been looking for things to keep her busy. She has to stay away from social media because she would scroll through her feed while smoking. The other hard part about quitting is the withdrawals, cravings, and depression.

Blake Tedder, Montano’s boyfriend, is very proud of Montano quitting smoking and has also inspired him to quit smoking.

“My love for her and her children have inspired me to also quit smoking. To put my selfish habits aside and think of someone else feels better at the end of the day,” said Tedder.

Allison Lechman is a communications senior who is in one of Montano’s classes.

“One day in class she was having a bad day. She was stressed and started to cry. She said she was trying to quit smoking. I think she’s inspirational because she has children, is double majoring, and is trying to make herself better. I get stressed about school but when I heard her story I was humbled,” said Lechman.

Montano is a wonderful mother who overcame her habit not just for her children but also to better herself. Montano’s smoke free story has inspired the people in her life. Although it is a constant battle for Tedder, he too has overcome this bad habit.

As for Lechman and all other CSUB students, we at The Runner hope your winter break allows you to relax. Happy Holidays!

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