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White Plains Reacts to Metro-North Smoking Ban

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- Even though he smokes, Juan Jimenez, 21, said the smoking ban on Metro-North platforms that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law Monday was not such a bad idea.

"I already take it into consideration. I try to stay away from other people on the platforms, and if there are children around, forget about it," said Jimenez, a Bronx resident who rides the Metro-North train to his job at a White Plains CVS. "It's something I'll follow. I don't want to poison anyone else."

Cuomo, a Democrat, extended the existing smoking ban on indoor transportation spaces to outdoor ticketing, boarding, and platform areas run by MTA or its subsidiaries. The law will go into effect on the Metro-North and Long Island Rail Road lines in 90 days.

Many commuters, including Evelyn Samore, of Somers, said the ban would help educate people about the health hazards of smoking and secondhand smoking.

"It's a good idea and it'll get people into better habits," said Samore, a Somers resident whose writing career takes her on several Metro-North routes. "(Smoking) is air pollution and it's health pollution."

For smokers like Kathleen Mallia, 47, forgoing a cigarette while waiting for the train will only add another obstacle to her daily commute.

"I smoke everyday on the platform. It'll be an adjustment. But what are you going to do? You can't smoke anywhere anymore," said Mallia, a Carmel resident who works in White Plains.

What're your thoughts on the smoking ban? Email responses to strangle@thedailywhiteplains.com and we'll include them in future coverage.

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