Senate Passes Fuschillo Bill to Protect Railroad Passengers From Second-Hand Smoke

Charles J. Fuschillo Jr.

June 16, 2011

Legislation Would Ban Smoking in MTA Train Platforms and Boarding Areas  

            Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. (R-Merrick) today announced that the New York State Senate has passed legislation he sponsors to help protect MTA passengers from harmful second hand smoke exposure. 

            The legislation (S3461C) would ban smoking in outdoor areas of ticketing, boarding or platform areas of train stations operated by the MTA or its subsidiaries, such as Long Island Rail Road or Metro-North. Both the City of New York and the State of New Jersey have already enacted similar laws banning smoking on outdoor train platforms. 

            “Thousands of commuters are being exposed to harmful second hand-smoke every time someone lights up a cigarette while waiting for a train. Second-hand smoke exposure can lead to a number of different health problems, even among non-smokers. New York needs to expand its own anti-smoking laws to better protect people from second-hand smoke,” said Senator Fuschillo, who authored the state’s clean indoor air act in 2003.           

            Reducing exposure to harmful second-hand smoke will go a long way towards improving public health. The New York State Department of Health estimates that second-hand smoke exposure kills 2,500 New Yorkers every year. Exposure to secondhand smoke causes approximately 3,400 lung cancer deaths among nonsmokers every year, according to the American Lung Association. 

            The legislation is “strongly supported” by the American Cancer Society, who noted in a memo of support that “the only way to ensure that non-smokers are protected from second hand smoke in an outdoor public place is to eliminate the source of the smoke.” 

            The legislation has also been approved by the State Assembly and will be sent to Governor Cuomo for consideration.