Home Asides State legislature approves railroad platform smoking ban

State legislature approves railroad platform smoking ban

by Benjamin Kabak

As part of its flurry of late-session legislation last week, the State Senate approved a measure that would ban smoking on all LIRR and Metro-North platforms. Sponsored by Sen. Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. from Merrick, the bill (S3461C) mimics a move made by both New York City and New Jersey within the past few years. It would ban smoking in outdoor spaces for ticketing, boarding or platforms of train stations operated by the MTA or its subsidiaries, and it has already cleared the state Assembly.

“Thousands of commuters are being exposed to harmful second-hand smoke every time someone lights up a cigarette while waiting for a train,” Senator Fuschillo, a leading anti-smoking representative, said. “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.”

The bill has garnered the support of the American Cancer Society and will now be presented to Gov. Cuomo for his signature. Enforcement, of course, remains another matter entirely.

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17 comments

Name June 20, 2011 - 12:09 pm

What about Connecticut?

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Benjamin Kabak June 20, 2011 - 12:11 pm

NYS Legislature can’t do anything with Connecticut. I’m not sure if there’s a ban in place or not, but this measure has no impact there.

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Chris G June 20, 2011 - 12:17 pm

Absolutely Awesome.

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Rob T. June 20, 2011 - 12:25 pm

Except that the connection between second-hand smoke and health risks indoors is tenuous at best and outdoors it’s non-existent.

Onward and upward with the nanny state and less and less freedom every day.

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Mistral June 20, 2011 - 12:35 pm

That doesn’t make it (and people like you) not fucking unbearable. How would you like it if someone came up next to you on a crowded train platform waiting for a late train and just started farting, real stinky ones that you practically choke on? That’s what it’s like standing next to a smoker. Just because you’re a fucking addict doesn’t mean the rest of us should suffer.

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Jason June 20, 2011 - 1:23 pm

In my experience, i’ve only ever seen smokers go to an empty portion of the platform to smoke (you know, being courteous?)But i guess all smokers are scumbags.

I can’t wait for smokers to be regulated out of existence so that you whiners can hop on the next great boogey man to pick on…..lest of course its something that you do daily (then i’m sure you can argue about your rights and how what you do shouldn’t be demonized because a minority of people who do it are inconsiderate)

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Bolwerk June 20, 2011 - 2:14 pm

Even if the indoor link is tenuous (it probably isn’t), people’s “freedom” to not inhale something raunchy in a public space or, I think more importantly, “freedom” to not be exposed to something that has some probability of inducing ultimately fatal harm are both worth weighing against smokers’ “rights” not to be inconvenienced by having to go outside to kill themselves. There are real cases of nanny state over-encroachment – I have a hard time buying that bars should even have to close at 4am, and who cares about open containers on the sidewalk? – but this just isn’t one of them except by a backbreaking stretch of the most rabid Libertardian’s imagination.

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Alon Levy June 21, 2011 - 12:36 am

Reason published a whole lot of reports saying second-hand smoke doesn’t kill. They know what they’re talking about, right?

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Bolwerk June 21, 2011 - 12:54 pm

They probably get paid a lot of money by tobacco lobbyists for their Reasoning. I did a cursory Google search before answering Rob T.’s comment. From the results, it seemed this became a rather strange objectivist cause célèbre.

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TP June 20, 2011 - 2:02 pm

Is smoking already banned on platforms within the city? I thought I had heard that, but might have heard wrong… Was disappointed because people are constantly smoking on the elevated Metro-North and subway platforms. Would be nice to see some enforcement.

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Bolwerk June 20, 2011 - 2:17 pm

It’s been banned on NYCTA platforms as long as I can remember. Both indoor and outdoor. That might have been more about fire prevention back when that ban was initiated though.

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Walter June 20, 2011 - 2:51 pm

Why go after smokers, when a diesel spewing locomotive is 10-times worse. Try standing at 125th Street next to a Genesis locomotive, or worse, one coming into Grand Central under diesel power (it’s not supposed to happen, but it does), and all of a sudden a little cigarette isn’t that bad.

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Scott E June 20, 2011 - 5:58 pm

I’m all for this one. Jamaica Station platforms are filled with smokers looking to take a quick drag while waiting for their connecting trains.

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Big Tobacco Spent $100 Million Plus on CA Politics in Past Decade – Clear The Air News Tobacco Blog July 21, 2011 - 9:29 pm

[…] Jersey where we live. In New York, it’s illegal to smoke not only in restaurants but on train platforms and parks and […]

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Stef August 12, 2011 - 10:32 pm

Is there any update to this story? Anyone know? I am thinking about getting State Assembly behind this here in CT. It has to stop. Smokers are killing us day in and day out. People light up right next to you in Stamford like they have the right to give you a smoke or something. It’s beyond ridiculous. If the state of CT doesn’t follow this ban they should be sued then.

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MTA platform smoking ban signed into law :: Second Ave. Sagas August 16, 2011 - 6:26 pm

[…] the New York State legislature wrapped up its business in June, it passed a bill banning smoking on all MTA railroad platforms. For nearly two months, the bill sat on Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s desk, and yesterday, he signed it […]

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