More New York Railways Prohibit Platform Smoking
- December 6, 2011 |
- By G. Clay Whittaker
There’s one less place to enjoy a cigar outdoors as the anti-smoking annexation of New York continues. Metro North and Long Island Railroad platforms will join the list of territories lost as the campaign against outdoor smoking presses forward.
Current rules already prohibit smoking on trains and in any indoor area associated with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. But the new law now extends to include ticketing and boarding areas and platforms with open air, effectively banning outdoor smoking from all railways.
In order to smoke, rail patrons will now have to light up in parking lots or other off-premises locations before enter- ing their station, making hearing—and catching—a train much more difficult.
Similar restrictions were already in place in New York City and New Jersey stations.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the legislation into law on August 15 to take effect 90 days later. At first, the MTA police officers instructed to enforce the ban will be offering warnings during a grace period. But after an undefined time frame, smokers could expect to be fined $50 or even spend 30 days in jail.
In a press release, Metro North president Howard Permut said “The new law is a benefit to our customers, helping us in our efforts to provide a healthier and cleaner environment on our platforms and in our ticketing and boarding areas.” He also noted the potential for track fires caused by mishandled or still-lit tobacco products.
The MTA will also be getting the word out on the new restrictions with pre-recorded audio advisories voiced by a slew of New York celebrities.
Former Yankees, Jets, and Rangers have all lent voices to the ban, as has “Inside the Actors Studio” host James Lipton, and even one of the stars of “The Real Housewives of New York City.”