Measures to Codify Amtrak Smoking Ban Passes House, Senate Committees

Acela at B&P Tunnel Acela, Amtrak, B&P Tunnel, Baltimore, NEC, maryland An Acela train emerges from the B&P Tunnel in Baltimore.

U.S. House and Senate committees advanced measures to codify a ban on smoking, including electronic cigarettes, on Amtrak.

“While Amtrak deserves our thanks and praise for implementing its own policy banning smoking on trains, my bill with Senator Carper to codify that ban will ensure the policy cannot be reversed,” U.S. Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-District of Columbia, said in a news release.

The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee passed it as part of the INVEST in America Act, while the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation advanced it as part of the Surface Transportation Investment Act of 2021.

“In 2021, smoking has no place in enclosed public spaces like train cars,” Sen. Tom Carper, D-Delaware, said in a news release. Carper is a former Amtrak Board Member and chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works.

“As a near-daily Amtrak rider, I have supported their policy prohibiting smoking and even introduced legislation with Congresswoman Norton to make that policy federal law,” Carper added. Now, I’m pleased to see that both the Senate Commerce Committee and House Transportation and Infrastructure have included our legislation in their surface transportation reauthorization bills. I think we can all agree that it’s time to ban smoking on passenger rail.”

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