COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI)-If you’ve driven past Propst Park In Columbus, you might’ve seen a sign on the fence that says “Columbus Lets Upgrade.”
It’s a message from the The Mississippi Tobacco Free Coalition calling for a change in the city’s smoking policy.
The current ordinance allows people to smoke indoors at select locations.
However, the coalition wants the ordinance to be upgraded to make the city 100% smoke free.
Area high schoolers spent Monday evening putting the red cups and signs on display as a way to educate the community about exposure to second hand smoke.
“500 people each year in Mississippi die from second hand smoke exposure so I want to lessen that,” said Jeffrey Beard,” who’s a member of the Mississippi Tobacco Free Coalition Advocacy Youth Team.
“Studies have actually shown that the only way to 100% actually help people to become smoke-free and to protect non-smokers is to actually go ahead and have a 100% comprehensible smoke-free ordinance,” said Yolanda Pruitt, project director at The Mississippi Tobacco Free Coalition. “We basically have a call to action message in the fence that says ‘Columbus Let’s Upgrade,’ so we are trying to get the community to come together and see what we need to do to go ahead and get this ordinance upgraded to 100% smoke-free.”
The message will remain up for a week.
The Mississippi Tobacco Free Coalition is also running an online contest.
They’re asking everyone to snap a picture of the message and post it to Facebook with the hashtag: #UpgradeColumbusMississippi.