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Scarsdale Riders React to New Platform Smoking Ban

SCARSDALE, N.Y. – Riders at the Scarsdale Metro-North station will no longer be able to smoke on the platforms while they wait for their trains. Some passengers are somewhat pleased with the new state legislation that eliminates second-hand smoke from train platforms.

Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a law Monday that banned smoking on MTA operated train ticketing, boarding or platform areas on both the Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North. The law will go into effect 90 days after its passage.

Ben Etlinger lives across the street from the Scarsdale train station with Stacey Shen and their two-year-old son, Murry Etlinger. He did not express much enthusiasm for the law, but acknowledged that it benefits those waiting for trains.

"I think we're generally indifferent, but it's probably for the best," Etlinger said.

Smoking had already been banned on outdoor subway platforms in New York City and in indoor mass transportation areas. The governor cited the dangers of second-hand smoke as a reason for the law.

"It is important that commuters are not unwillingly subject to the dangers of second-hand smoke while waiting on train platforms," Cuomo said in a press release.

The New York State Department of Health estimates that second-hand smoke claims the lives of 2,500 New Yorkers each year, according to the press release.

Shen said that the law is beneficial even though she did not notice smoking to be a major problem at the Scarsdale station.

"I feel like I've barely seen anyone do that here anyway," Shen said. "I think it's a good idea."

Both Etlinger and Shen said that they are pleased with the smoking ban at train stations because children will no longer have to inhale smoke. Murry Etlinger said just one word to describe smoke.

"Bad," said the two-year-old.

What do you think about the smoking ban? Is it long overdue, or should people be allowed to smoke on the platforms? Comment below, on our Facebook page or on Twitter @DailyScarsdale .

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