Michigan State University provost June Pierce Youatt announced on Wednesday that the university will begin steps to ban tobacco on campus. Kyle Feldscher of Mlive.com reports that a new task force will be created to devise and enact the measures necessary to move the Spartan campus towards the tobacco-free policy. MSU University Physician Dr. David Weismantel will lead the task force, Youatt said in her statement.

Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

The announcement comes less than four months after a smoking ban petition started by MSU student Tristan Worthington and hosted by Change.org, Inc. collected over 1,500 signatures. Smoke-free campuses are becoming more and more common, and Michigan State follows the University of Michigan which banned tobacco products on its campus in July, 2011.

Youatt cited the goal of improving overall campus health was behind the University’s decision, according to Feldscher, who also says that multiple surveys have found a high rate of smoking at Michigan State. There are currently 20 smoke-free colleges or universities in Michigan, and over 1,400 nationwide. A few states have passed laws affecting state-wide bans on campuses of higher learning.

The MSU Board of Trustees may vote on the matter later this year. Questions about the task force can be directed to the Michigan State University Physician: uphys@msu.edu