LIRR station platform smoking ban goes into effect

JENNIFER GUSTAVSON PHOTO | Smoking on train station platforms is now banned in New York State. The law went into effect on Sunday.

New York Jets legend Joe Namath is telling Long Island Rail Road commuters that smoking cigarettes on the station’s platform is now against the law.

A short recording of Mr. Namath’s message played Monday morning at the Riverhead train station where some commuters said they welcomed the new law, which went into effect Sunday.

“This is a good thing,” said Riverhead resident Alfredo Dias as he stood in the LIRR ticket area at the Riverhead train station. “The smell makes me sick.”

Mr. Dias, who has rode the train to various landscaping and carpenter jobs throughout Long Island over the past several years, added he believed the smoking ban will also help with the litter problem.

According to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s website, violators could receive a fine of up to $50 and up to 30 days in jail, which are the same penalties for current no-smoking rules on trains and indoor areas within a terminal or station.

Not everyone shared Mr. Dias’s feeling about the new state smoking ban on outdoor station platforms as well as ticketing and boarding areas.

Rose Suglia of Mattituck, who was copying the train schedule posted at the Mattituck train station on Monday afternoon, described the outdoor smoking ban as “extreme.”

“I don’t smoke and I can’t stand the smell, but I don’t think there should be a ban outdoors,” Ms. Suglia said, adding she believed the penalties were too steep. “You could still smell it even if they smoke in the parking lot, depending on which way the wind is blowing.”

While the new law went into effect on Sunday, officials said MTA Police will only be issuing warning to violators during a grace period. It is unclear when the grace period will expire.

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