Petition to ban smoking on campus nearing 1,000 signatures
Close to a day after it began, a student-started petition to ban smoking at MSU is a dozen signature away from reaching its 1,000-signature goal.
“We believe that cancer is a significant health problem that in many ways can be prevented through social changes,” said Tristan Worthington, president of the MSU Anti-Cancer Society.
Worthington, a marketing senior, drafted and edited the document with the Anti-Cancer Society, a group he founded.
“As a pre-med student, I wanted to start having an impact on people's health before I become a physician,” he said regarding why he and his friends started the group.
The Change.org campaign has taken off, largely from MSU students sharing the petition on social media sites. Worthington said that no one expected the reaction they have seen and attributes a lot of the success to those opposing the change.
An ‘apparent Facebook controversy’ has formed around the bill, with students sharing their own personal views and promoting the page.
“It is ironic to me that the people who were so adamantly against this petition were probably the ones who helped promote it the most so far,” Worthington said.
Due to the obvious student interest, the Anti-Cancer Society has contacted other groups like Spartans Fighting Cancer about campaigning to get a smoking ban in effect on campus. The groups will take the petition as well as research to the Board of Trustees to argue for the referendum allowing a smoking ban to take place.
A survey done by the Anti-Cancer Society found that 1 in 4 MSU students use tobacco in some form, including cigarettes, chewing tobacco and hookah.
The group is heavily concerned with the harms of tobacco use, including lung cancer as well as secondhand smoke.
The National Collegiate Health Assessment reported smoking rates on campus are dropping, although there is no ban.