In honor of Lung Cancer Awareness Month, Sen. Tom Carper, D-Delaware, former Amtrak board member and top Democrat on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, introduced legislation that would ban smoking on Amtrak.
Carper’s legislation, the Banning Smoking on Amtrak Act of 2019, would codify the existing Amtrak policy that prohibits smoking. Consistent with Amtrak’s current internal policy, this ban would apply to all tobacco use, including electronic cigarettes. Companion legislation was introduced in the House of Representatives by Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-Washington, D.C., earlier this year.
“Tobacco is one of the most harmful products sold legally in the U.S.,” said Carper, who rides the Amtrak train nearly every day to commute from Wilmington to Washington, D.C. “Tobacco use damages countless lives and causes millions of deaths each year. As a longtime advocate for smoking cessation, and as a near-daily Amtrak rider, in honor of Lung Cancer Awareness Month, I’m introducing legislation that would make Amtrak’s existing non-smoking policy a federal law. This bill is one of the many ways that Congress can encourage tobacco cessation, protect public health and support passenger rail in America.”
Smoking is a major public health epidemic and is the No. 1 risk factor for lung cancer, which kills 433 Americans every day. According to the World Health Organization, tobacco use kills more than 8 million people annually. While the majority of those deaths are the result of direct tobacco use, more than 1.2 million non-smokers, including 65,000 children, die each year due to exposure to secondhand smoke.
View the text of the bill at bit.ly/337sw8r.