Southern Utah youth take action to reduce smoking at bus stops

Posted at 9:14 PM, Jan 22, 2014
and last updated 2014-01-22 23:14:42-05

ST. GEORGE - A group of Washington County youth are taking a stand against smoking at city bus stops.

Wednesday, the members of the Washington County Youth Coalition spent the afternoon hanging up no smoking signs at 77 SunTran bus stops.

There’s already a city ordinance prohibiting smoking within 25 feet of a bus stop, but students said they frequently witnessed people breaking the law, and decided something needed to be done.

“We’ve noticed people smoking before,” Said WCYC Dixie High School representative Scott Tew. “Especially, like near elementary schools where the smoke drifts into where people are all the time.

It’s a project that originally began last fall. The students approached the city council about hanging the signs and were told they could hang 33 of them. After some positive feedback, the council agreed to let them hang signs on the remaining 77 stops.

“We thought it was something that would have a visible effect on the city,” Tew said. “That would help make our city a better place, cleaner.”

The students took on the campaign all on their own, approaching the city council, working on the design, and raising the close to $1,500 needed to pay for them.

“As a group of adults, even professionals in this field, we have a hard time sometimes making things happen,” WCYC adviser Logan Reid said. “The youth have a way of making themselves heard in places that we can’t.”

And even though it did take some hard labor, and several swings of the hammer, in the end they say it was all worth it.

“Second hand smoke is a really bad deal,” Tew said. “So we wanted to set those up.”