Sending Office: Honorable Eleanor Holmes Norton
Sent By:
Blake.Paradis@mail.house.gov

Cosponsors: Grijalva, Moore

Dear Colleague:

Please join me in protecting train passengers from secondhand smoke by cosponsoring the Banning Smoking on Amtrak Act (H.R. 2726).  This bill would simply codify Amtrak’s internal policy prohibiting smoking, including of electronic cigarettes, on its trains.

There is no federal law prohibiting smoking on Amtrak trains.  Although Amtrak implemented its own internal policy banning cigarette smoking on its trains in 1993, that policy could always be repealed.  My bill would make the smoking ban, including electronic
cigarettes, a matter of federal law and put Congress on record in support of protecting passengers from secondhand smoke.  We received a report from an 11-year-old child who was concerned to see electronic cigarette smoking on an Amtrak train. 

Smoking bans have been a critical tool in protecting people from the effects of secondhand smoke, known to increase the risk for serious cardiovascular and respiratory diseases such as coronary heart disease, lung cancer and emphysema, among others.  The
World Health Organization (WHO) considers the tobacco epidemic to be one of the biggest public health threats in the world, killing more than seven million people a year.  While more than six million of those deaths are the result of direct tobacco use, around
890,000 non-smokers exposed to secondhand smoke also die every year. 

Under my bill, smoking would be banned on Amtrak trains in the same manner as on airplanes.  Last Congress, the FAA Reauthorization Act (P.L. 108-176) included a provision that expanded the smoking ban on airplanes to include electronic cigarettes.  According
to the WHO, there is no safe level of exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke.  Even short-term exposure can potentially increase the risk of heart attacks.

I invite you to join me in this effort and become an original cosponsor of this important bill.  To be a cosponsor, please contact Blake Paradis of my staff at 202-225-8050 or blake.paradis@mail.house.gov.

 

Sincerely,

Eleanor Holmes Norton

 

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