On March 20, National Kick Butts Day, which supports a tobacco-free environment, NFTA Metro announced an enhanced no-smoking campaign for bus shelters and rail stations. The announcement was made during an event held at Metro’s Main/Allen rail station, which included our Tobacco-Free Erie Niagara team, as well as our public health partners from the County of Erie and Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), secondhand smoke causes more than 7,300 lung cancer deaths among U.S. nonsmokers each year. The NFTA’s enhanced no-smoking campaign complements Erie County’s No-Smoking Ordinance, which prohibits smoking in public areas and will be heavily enforced by the NFTA Transit Police.
“We are putting everyone on notice today that our transit police will be stepping up from no-smoking warnings to writing citations. Going forward anyone found smoking in restricted areas within our Metro system will be cited by law enforcement. We are taking our role very seriously in helping to enforce the county ordinance and help protect our riders and the community we serve,” said TAPD Chief George Gast.
Our colleague, Mark Travers, PhD, Research Scientist at Roswell Park couldn’t be more encouraged by this news. He has devoted his career for providing scientific basis for smoke-free air policies and how being exposed to tobacco smoke is dangerous to our health.
“It’s our responsibility to do everything we can to make sure community settings like bus and rail stops are free from secondhand smoke,” said Mark “I applaud the NFTA as a cancer researcher, and I thank them as a parent for their steps to make sure our transportation system is clean and safe for our most vulnerable citizens—including our children and those struggling with lung disease, heart disease, and cancer, all caused by tobacco.”