First it was restaurants and bars, then it was city parks, beaches and pedestrian plazas, and in 90 days, another area will be taken away from NYC smokers. Governor Cuomo signed a bill yesterday that officially bans smoking on all outdoor train platforms operated by the MTA.


Smoking is already prohibited on city subway platforms, even if they’re outside, but the new bill extends the ban to outdoor ticketing, boarding or platform areas of railroad stations operated by the MTA or its subsidiaries, including the Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North.

“It is important that commuters are not unwillingly subject to the dangers of second-hand smoke while waiting on train platforms,” the Governor said in a statement.

And Senator Charles Fuschillo, who co-sponsored the legislation, 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.”

The bill will become law on November 14th.

The New York Department of Health says second-hand smoke kills 2,500 New Yorkers a year. Mayor Bloomberg’s office claimed last year that second-hand smoke kills 7,500 New Yorkers a year.

When reached for comment by Gothamist, smokers rights advocate Audrey Silk called the bill “nothing more than feel good legislation with no substance. A bonus opportunity to add to his resume as it appeals to the popular. But freedom is not a matter of popularity and there is absolutely no scientific evidence that exposure to cigarette smoke outdoors is hurting anyone.”

In other cigarette/MTA-related news, two MTA employees who were caught on camera last month smoking cigarettes just inside a subway station– at the end of a graveyard shift when no one else was likely in the station– have been disciplined, an MTA spokesperson told Gothamist, although the details of the disciplinary action were not revealed.