Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today signed a law to prohibit smoking on MTA operated outdoor train ticketing, boarding or platform areas, including the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) and Metro-North. Smoking is already prohibited on outdoor New York City subway platforms.
"It is important that commuters are not unwillingly subject to the dangers of second-hand smoke while waiting on train platforms," Governor Cuomo said. "Exposure to second-hand smoke can lead to serious health problems for non-smokers and this law will make outdoor MTA train platforms, ticketing and boarding areas a cleaner, healthier place for all commuters. We must continue to work to protect New Yorkers and improve public health, and I thank Senator Fuschillo and Assemblywoman Jaffee for sponsoring this important legislation."
The new law extends the existing smoking ban on indoor mass transportation areas to outdoor ticketing, boarding or platform areas of railroad stations operated by the MTA or its subsidiaries. The harmful effects of exposure to second-hand smoke are well known and the New York State Department of Health estimates that second-hand smoke kills 2,500 New Yorkers every year. Smoking is already banned on all subway platforms in New York City and this law extends protections to LIRR and Metro-North stations. This law takes effect in 90 days.
Senator Charles Fuschillo said, "Every day, thousands of LIRR and Metro-North commuters are exposed to harmful second hand-smoke each time someone lights up a cigarette while waiting for a train. Second-hand smoke has been proven to cause serious health problems, including cancer, which is why we need to continue to protect individuals from exposure. As the author of the state's Clean Indoor Air Act, I applaud Governor Cuomo's support of such an important health initiative."
Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee said, "New York's commuters deserve protection from the health hazards of secondhand smoke and I commend Governor Cuomo for signing into law this vital protection. Smoking is currently prohibited on New York City's subway platforms, but our state's commuter rail travelers have for too long remained exposed. This law strengthens a critical ban to protect all commuters and improve the public health of many New Yorkers."