Long Island Press: New Law Bans Smoking on LIRR Platforms

lipress logoBy Timothy Bolger on August 15th, 2011

Long Island Rail Road riders who like to smoke cigarettes will soon be banned from lighting up at train stations.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a law Monday to ban smoking on the upstate New York and LI platforms of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s commuter trains to protect other passengers from secondhand smoke. It will take effect in 90 days.

The new law prohibits smoking in outdoor spaces for ticketing, boarding or platforms of train stations operated by the MTA or its subsidiaries, including the LIRR and Metro-North.

“Every day, thousands of LIRR and Metro-North commuters are exposed to harmful secondhand smoke each time someone lights up a cigarette while waiting for a train,” state Sen. Charles Fuschillo (R-Merrick), one of the bill’s sponsors, said in a statement.

New York City and New Jersey stations already have similar restrictions.

Cuomo said it is important that commuters are not unwillingly subjected to secondhand smoke while waiting for trains, saying exposure can lead to health problems and the measure will make ticketing and boarding areas cleaner and healthier.

The American Lung Association praised the ban.