Smoke Signals

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A small group of college students is taking on a big project. They want to abolish smoking on their college campus completely.

It’s a trend that’s becoming popular at other campuses nationwide.

A group at Indiana State University is reaching out to fellow students who want to breathe clean air. The group is partnering with a local organization dedicated to the effort.

With all the health concerns we’re warned about on a day to day basis, organizations are really cracking down on a popular pass time.

“Every day I’m pretty much exposed to second hand smoke. A lot of the smokers they do not smoke in the designated smoking areas so as I’m walking to campus there’s always at least one or two people smoking vapors or cigarettes in general,” Ciara Ross said.

Student Ciara Ross is a part of Tobacco Free Blue. A small group on Indiana State University’s campus. The group works with Chances and Services for Youth’s tobacco prevention center to help promote their cause.

“The students I’ve interacted with have generally been very positive about the idea of eliminating tobacco use from campus,” Libby Ray with C.A.S.Y. said.

Currently, Indiana State University has several designated smoking areas, but those smoke signals can wander. Tobacco Free Blue recently held their first public awareness project, “Kick Butts Day.”

The group picked up over 2,000 cigarette butts in just an hour. Many were found outside the designated smoking areas.    

“This is a trend across the country. More and more colleges and universities are adopting fully free tobacco policies. Right now, it’s close to 1500 college campuses and universities that are 100% smoke free and about 1200 of those are fully tobacco free,” Ray said.

Not only is the possibility of a smoke free campus there, but desired.

The group already has over 100 signatures on a petition for a smoke free campus. Their goal is to reach 1,000 before presenting their idea to the university president.    

“We have to get student involvement, we have to get signatures done, we have to get petitions done to show that we are in agreement that tobacco is harmful and it needs to be eliminated on campus period,” Ross said.

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