Law Bans Smoking on MTA Train Platforms and Boarding Areas
Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. (R-Merrick) is reminding residents that a new law he authored to help protect MTA passengers from harmful second hand smoke exposure takes effect Sunday.
The law prohibits smoking at all outdoor ticketing, boarding, and platform areas of train stations operated by the MTA or its subsidiaries, including the Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North. The City of New York already enacted a similar law banning smoking on all subway platforms. The law builds upon the existing ban on smoking on indoor mass transportation areas. The law was authored by Senator Fuschillo and Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffe (D-Suffern) and signed by Governor Cuomo on August 15th.
“As of Sunday, LIRR & Metro-North commuters will no longer be exposed to harmful second hand smoke while they wait for a train. New York State has made great strides in protecting people from second-hand smoke, which has been proven to cause serious health problems. This law builds on that success and will help further protect people from second-hand smoke,” said Senator Fuschillo, who authored both the new law and the State’s Clean Indoor Air Act.
The new law will help reduce exposure to harmful second-hand smoke and will go a long way towards improving public health. Second hand smoke exposure kills 2,500 New Yorkers every year, according to estimates from the New York State Department of Health.
“Five years ago the U.S. Surgeon General declared, ‘There is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke.’ The implications of the science are clear: people should be protected from deadly tobacco smoke toxins when using public areas, whether indoors or outside. Thanks to Senator Fuschillo’s leadership, commuters now will not worry that they and their children are forced to breathe other people’s smoke while waiting for their train. This measure is a common-sense extension of existing regulations on indoor smoking, and will be greeted with the same high level of public support,” said Russell Sciandra, New York State Director of Advocacy for the American Cancer Society.
“Thanks to the efforts of Senator Fuschillo and Assemblymember Jaffee, starting this Sunday, LIRR and Metro-North commuters will no longer be forced to breathe in toxic secondhand smoke while waiting to board a train,” said Michael Seilback, VP of Public Policy and Communications at the American Lung Association in New York. “Secondhand smoke kills 2,500 New Yorkers every year. This law reducing public exposure to tobacco smoke is a major win for public health. We look forward to enjoying a healthier commute on our railways beginning this Sunday.”