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New Law Bans Smoking on LIRR Platforms


Sean Mableton, 37, of Deer Park, smokes a cigarette at the Long Island Rail Road's Hicksville train station on Monday, Aug. 15, 2011 (Long Island Press/Licia Avelar).

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


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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. Those waiting for trains at the Hicksville station Monday had mixed views of the new law.

“It makes no sense, we are outside, it’s not an enclosure,” Sean Mableton, a 37-year-old bartender from Deer Park, said as he puffed a cigarette on the platform while it’s still legal.

Jackie Weinstein, a 22-year-old Columbia University student from Plainview, tried to see it from both sides.

“I think it’s a nice law as a non-smoker but it may be inconvenient for a smoker,” she said.

Even some smokers supported the move.

“It’s a good idea because kids come around and certain people don’t like the smell but people are never going to stop until they start getting tickets,” said Maurico Smith, 25, of Hicksville.

-With Associated Press.

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