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No Smoking on Train Platforms

Last month Governor Cuomo signed a law prohibiting smoking on Metro North and Long Island Railroad platforms. According to the governor’s press release, “The State Department of Health estimates that second-hand smoke kills 2,500 New Yorkers every year.”

Now that the platform smoking ban has gone into effect, commuters shared their reactions to the smoke-free air.

Laura Scott, a daily commuter from Croton Falls, said, “I think it’s great. I’m allergic to the smell of cigarettes. I find it very offensive. It’s just gross. I move in the other direction. Every time I see someone smoking in the morning I think, ‘It’s not even eight o’clock.’”

Fellow commuter Kurt Neidhardt wondered, “how smokers know there’s a ban. I didn’t know. It’s always the same people who are smoking. It’ll be interesting to see if they stop.”

Grace Cabrera of Croton Falls works at Manhattan College and gets off the train at the Fordham station. “I haven’t seen anyone smoking since the ban took effect,” she said. “I haven’t even seen butts on the ground. And that’s the Bronx.”

Albert Palmesi, owner of Al’s Car Service on Front Street, said he had heard about it. But, “how can second hand smoke harm you outside?” he asked. “There’s a lot of turbulence out there. I think it’s more for revenue.”

Palmesi himself “quit smoking two months ago for health reasons. I stopped buying cigarettes in January 2011, but didn’t officially quit until two months ago. In the meantime I was bumming off people, giving them two-three dollars for a cigarette.”

Sometimes he will wait while a passenger smokes a cigarette before getting into the taxi. Sometimes passengers do smoke in the car. “The customer is always right,” he says. “But then the next customer complains.”

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