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News flash! No smoking on platforms!

This just in! The new Chicago smoking ban prohibits smoking on train platforms!

"Now, the cigarettes will get snuffed and the cigars stubbed out in most public places, from Chicago Transit Authority train platforms to condominium lobbies and hallways, on Jan. 16." -- Chicago Tribune.

Ummm... hasn't there been a smoking ban on CTA property like forever?


I love Chicago... you know they gave this three year window to bars because after three years everyone's just going to forget about the ban. That's how local government works in this city. Do it and then forget about it... like when they were going to integrate the city in the 60's... see how well that worked out?

Sadly, the no-smoking ban is rarely enforced. There have been many times where I've been in the subway and someone would light up. I was preparing to point out the signage, but when I looked, there was hardly any around. Later on, I wrote an e-mail to complain about the lack of signage and all I got was a bunch of double-talk about how there are no-smoking signs in the subway.

My last e-mail to them was a suggestion to place them every 5 feet or so. (I really wanted to tell them where else to place them, but I was trying to be polite and get things done)

well, I'd rather have people smoking on the platform than INSIDE the train.

I saw a CTA employee talking to someone who was smoking in the subway. I was thinking of saying something, but I decided not to.

Unless the CTA starts paying its employees a reasonable wage, they aren't going to do anything more than the minimum required to not get fired. (Some don't even do that much -- they phone in bomb threats and DO get fired.)

Smoking on platforms and even in trains seems to becoming more and more common.

Nearly every morning the same guy lights up on the northbound Sheridan platform around 6:45.

Nearly every afternoon there is at least one person smoking on the Evanston Davis southbound platform around 3:38.

I've seen more people smoking on the trains themselves recently than I have in several years past combined. Typically they're drunk and even belligerent as well, so I'm certainly not going to intervene unless I have to.

In both cases there is simply no CTA personnel around to do anything about it. Those that are now smoking, drinking or breaking any other rules have recognized there is no one watching and they can do whatever they feel like.

The situation is similar for personal safety. You're pretty much on your own. If you can't defend yourself and there is no good samaritan to rely on, who do you go to for help? The train's conductor? Ah well, that's a different topic.

I've noticed more and more people smoking ON the trains recently as well. I also notice alot of people lighting up inside the station, as if it would KILL them to wait 6 seconds to get outside, and not once have I ever heard a CTA employee say anything. A few weeks ago a CTA EMPLOYEE who was supposed to be cleaning the platform at Morse was standing at the south end smoking...not a cigarrette...but weed. How do I know? Because I could smell it.

I was on a quiet Red Line train with about six or seven other people one Saturday afternoon when a large elderly man lit up a cigarette and promptly filled the car with stench. At Addison, everyone but the smoker got off and ran up to the next car. The guy got exactly what he wanted: a good smoke and a car to himself!

Be nice if there could be smoke detectors that signal the operator when there's smoke of any kind, and the train couldn't proceed without dealing with the source of the smoke.

At least twice I have witnessed people smoking on the train. I immediately got out of my seat, walked up to them, and very politely said: "Excsue me sir, did you know that smoking is prohibited on the train?"

They both grumbled some apology and put out their smoke right away. And if they hadn't, I would have informed the motorman via the intercom system.

I think if you are firm, but polite, you will get results in telling people smoking is prohibited.

But I've never done that on a platform. That doesn't bother me as much, especially on an elevated outdoor platform.

A couple of years ago I was on the north-bound Red Line at Garfield/55th really late one Friday night -- probably about 2:30 AM. On the car I got onto were sitting three cops: two men and a woman, just casually chatting. Just after 47th Street, the "Emergency Use Only" door at the northern end of the car opens and a super-drunk guy stumbles in from the next car.

"Wow. And he's smoking!" the female officer exclaims in double disbelief.

Sure, enough super-drunk stumblig guy has a lit cigarette in his mouth, a cloud of smoke forming around him.

One of the male officers just shakes his head as all three get to their feet, goto the drunk smoker, take his cigarette, and start asking him questions. They excorted him off at Sox/35th.

The only time I've ever heard of someone getting busted for smoking was when my friend Jesse was escorted off the Belmont platform. I have been on outdoor and underground platforms and trains where people were smoking.

My first thought on reading that there would be no smoking on trains was just what someone above said, "So what if they don't enforce the no smoking policies they have now?"

fwiw, the platform smoking ban is less than 10 years old. I don't remember when it started exactly but I remember the signs going up; it was after 1995. I remember wondering if anyone would actually obey the rule, but there are definitely many fewer platform smokers now than then.

It's not the smoking I mind so much as the crack-smoking and cocaine snorting. Once a few years ago I saw a young woman snorting coke whose eyes rolled back in her head and started choking on vomit, and I thought "Great, I'll get stuck having to give CPR." Fortunately she didn't die. Back in the 60s & 70s, pot smoking was pretty common.

As a smoker, I should remember when the ban went into effect, but I don't. It was about the same time as they got rid of conductors, iirc. For the record, I do not smoke on CTA property. It's impolite, and if they're busting people for sleeping, they'll get around to the smokers eventually.

Well I don't live in chicago so im not as familiar with ordinances as others..as I tried to explain to them..

I'd come from a job interview, I lit a cigarette on the platform at the Belmont "L" stop back in 05 and when I noticed a no-smoking sign, I quickly put it out...seconds later I see about 4 men in what appeared to be SWAT gear running down from that booth above the Belmont "L" platform and to my surprise, they were coming for me!

The men surrounded me (from a distance) began yelling aggessively and telling me not to get any closer, they held me there and began to interrogate me on the spot, they searched me, demanded to know what I was doing there (as if I needed an security clearance to use public transportation) and if I had any weapons in my bag, they searched my bag, treated me like I was a dangerous criminal and if I had moved at all im sure they would have thrown me down on that platform... it was that intense. Dozens of people stood there observing.

While the sociopaths were out raping, molesting, robbing and assulting on cta property, Cta police felt the best use of taxpayer's dime was to snatch of bit of humanity from an everyday person who put out a cig at the Belmont "L" stop... and please believe that there is no law or ordinance that can repair the sense of personal violation that occurs when the people you think are there for your protection dehumanize you in public and for no good reason. Oh and I missed my train, and was given a $35 fine when they were done with me.

Back in the late 90s, my sister & I went to a show at the Chicago Theater. We caught the Blue Line going home at Washington. Now my sister has always been sensitive to cigarette smoke, and once our dad quit, it quadrupled for her (my tolerance lowered quite a bit then, too). Someone lit up while we were waiting & my sister started to complain as she shifted away. I shrugged, as I recall, and indicated a sign on the subway wall that said No Smoking. Taking a deep breath, she read that sign out loud--very loudly. Subtle, yes?
The smoker looked over at her briefly, then turned away. I suppose if she had fallen to the ground choking with severe allergies, things might have been turned out a little differently.

You people are crazy to think that giving government more control over our personal lives is gonna replace the SOCIAL SKILLS necessary to work these issues out for ourselves.

Grow Up

Whoa, who are you people? I mean really. I agree with the above posting, why give the government more control over our lives? While smoking on the train is one thing, smoking on an open air cta platform doesn't seem all that offensive, surely no worse than people smoking at the bus stops. The bottom line for smokers is being courteous enough to step away from the crowd with their cigarettes, and for nonsmokers to be courteous enough not to hassle them when they are doing this. Shouting out cta signage is no way to change people’s behavior.

If you phrase it as "giving the government more control over our lives", it sounds all insidious and scary. When really it's just a way to keep people from being assholes and smoking next to you, since they can't seem to control themselves on their own..

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