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Riders Debate Lighting Up at New Canaan Station

NEW CANAAN, Conn. – Jack and Kiera Hynes do not think smoking is cool – at all. The mere sight of a cigarette butt near a bench on the platform of the New Canaan train station solidified their thinking.

“I don’t think you should smoke because it’s bad for you,” said Jack, 9, while waiting for the next Metro-North train with his sister and his dad, Tom Hynes. “I’m not going to smoke.”

It’s no surprise, then, that the siblings wouldn’t mind seeing Connecticut implement a smoking ban at its Metro-North Railroad stations. Last Sunday, a new law went into effect in New York state prohibiting smoking on outdoor platform, ticketing and boarding areas at Metro-North and Long Island Railroad terminals and stations.

“The new law is a benefit to our customers, helping us in our efforts to provide a healthier and cleaner environment on our platforms and in our ticketing and boarding area,” Metro-North President Howard Permut said. Smoking is already banned on all trains and in all indoor areas within a terminal or station.

Tom Hynes, who commutes on Metro-North every day, said he rarely encounters smokers at the New Canaan station in the mornings. “Not a single guy,” he said.

Ken Hill, 42, of New Canaan, said he occasionally has fun with smokers at the Stamford station. He might see person light up at the Stamford stop before boarding a train to New Canaan and say “Hey, I think Bloomberg got rid of smoking here.” He’s usually greeted with a snappy response stating that rules from New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg mean nothing in Connecticut.

“I wouldn’t mind seeing it (a smoking ban), but I don’t think it will pass in Connecticut because too many people smoke,” he said.

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