A group of masters students at the University of Manitoba are asking whether tobacco should be sold on campus. They hope it will lead the university towards being tobacco-free.

The poll is part of a school project. The group of five students chose tobacco as their subject. They found that tobacco products were sold at two locations on campus. Both places are operated by the University of Manitoba Student Union.

“Selling tobacco products is not necessarily something that I’m proud of from the student union, as they also provide our health plan,” says masters student, Alicia Sawyer.

Sawyer says she was surprised to learn tobacco was being sold at the university. The group found that many campuses across Canada ban tobacco sales.

“There’s several schools that are completely tobacco free, and there’s also several universities that we found that are discontinuing the sale of tobacco on campus,” says masters student, Janet Klassen.

British Columbia, Alberta, and Quebec all ban the sale of tobacco products on public university and college campuses.

The group created a facebook group to conduct their poll. Klassen says the response has been good.

“We’ve had quite a few people responding to that. And so far the majority is that people support no tobacco sales on campus,” she says.

But not everyone at the University of Manitoba is worried about tobacco on campus. Eduardo Deras is a nursing student and non-smoker.

“It’s people choice, I think. If they want to smoke they should have the right. It doesn’t really affect me, I don’t think,” says Deras.

Sanjay Bansal agrees. “At the end of the day, I think if people want it, they’re going to drive 5 minutes to the nearest gas station and get it anyways,” he says.

Students have until November 6th to answer the poll online.

After that the results will be submitted to the student union, and Students Working Against Tobacco’s Manitoba chapter.