You've got just 90 days left to kill time by killing yourself while waiting for a train on LIRR and Metro-North platforms. Smoking is already verboten on NYC subway platforms, even in if they're outside, and today Governor Cuomo signed into law new smoking prohibitions that expand the existing smoking ban to outdoor ticketing, boarding or platform areas of railroad stations operated by the MTA or its subsidiaries.
The state Department of Health estimates that second-hand smoke kills 2,500 New Yorkers every year. Senator Charles Fuschillo, who co-sponsored the legislation, said in a statement, "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."
Reached for comment, smokers' rights advocate Audrey Silk tells us she thinks the law is "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. As an aside, I have to laugh my head off at the anti-smoker commercial the city has been running where a guy is smoking while waiting at a bus stop. As the bus is pulling up they're describing the 'harm' his smoking is causing himself. Yet the bus is exhausting 100s if not 1000s of more pollutants into the air! That the irony is lost on the crusaders is remarkable and speaks volumes about their hysterical myopia."
Well, at least drinking on the LIRR and Metro-North is still legal. (An MTA spokesperson tells us you can drink your beer on the platform at Penn and Grand Central, but it's up to local jurisdictions at outlying stations.) For many, imbibing on the train or even next to the train is "the one thing you can look forward to" in life. This must suck for people who "only smoke when they drink" though.