Petition Campaign

Petitions are a tried-and-true way to show decision makers that members of your community are concerned about an issue or support a specific policy. Getting petition signatures can help build momentum for various policy objectives, like smoke- and vape-free parks, tobacco-free schools, ending the sale of flavored tobacco products, and more. If your group is working on a policy campaign this is a great simple activity to engage supporters.


Before the Activity:

  • Determine what you want your petition to accomplish and who your audience (who you want to sign the petition) and target (who you are trying to influence) are. Make sure you plan your event venue, time, and logistics to reach your audience. Do your research and determine what decision maker(s) you will deliver or send the petition to after your event. 
  • Draft your petition language - the petition language should be simple and easy to understand. The language should clearly state the problem and the solution you are asking people to support. Here is an example of language from last year’s petition to tell the FDA to ban all flavored tobacco products: 
    • We call on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to ban the sale of all flavored tobacco products, including flavored e-cigarettes and cigars as well as menthol cigarettes. The evidence is clear: Tobacco companies target kids with flavored tobacco products, and flavors play a key role in getting kids to start and continue using tobacco. To prevent the tobacco industry from addicting a new generation of kids, the FDA must ban all flavored tobacco products. Sign the petition calling on the FDA to end the sale of flavored tobacco products. 
  • Decide how you will collect signatures - you can use signature pages on clipboards or collect individual cards with signatures. You can also use the petition to collect zip codes, email addresses, or anything else that would be helpful to your efforts. 
  • Create posters and other visuals to explain what the petition is about and why it matters. 
  • Consider creating palm cards or flyers for petition signees to take with them to learn more and stay involved. 
  • Meet with representatives of your group to make sure they all have talking points and feel confident discussing the issue.

During the Activity:

  • Setup your petition table or volunteer station. Keep in mind that the table should be clean and welcoming. People are more likely to come to your table if representatives from your group are standing rather than sitting. 
  • Take photos of people signing the petition and share on social media. 
  • Take your message to the next level - have a whiteboard where people can write why they support your cause and take photos of people holding it. Share the photos on social media and tag decision makers if possible. 

After the Activity:

  • Collect your signatures and package them neatly. You can either hand deliver or mail the signed petition to decision makers. Include other supporting materials like an overview letter, fact sheets, or information about your policy recommendation to provide context. 
  • Post about your petition on social media and tag the decision maker that you were targeting with your message.