Smokefree DC is a citizen-based group whose goal is to promote smokefree environments in Washington, DC.

Petition update: That Metro rider next to you may be allergic to cigarette smoke


flickr photo courtesy of lanier67

Look around next time you ride a Metro bus or train. The person next to you may have asthma or be allergic to cigarette smoke. Judging from the comments on a recently launched petition calling on WMATA to enforce its no-smoking policy, there are quite a few Metro passengers who suffer health problems when they encounter secondhand smoke.

WMATA has a no-smoking policy within its system, but you wouldn’t know it by riding the rails or buses. There is a stunning absence of “no smoking” signs.

People from Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Maine, Arizona and elsewhere have signed the petition. Here are some of their comments. If you haven’t signed, please do. Then tell your friends.

It’s too bad we have to resort to enforcement, but it’s also too bad we have to resort to petition to get that enforcement.

Tobacco smoke and tobacco litter should be prohibited within at least 100 feet of bus stations and WMATA escalators. NO SMOKING signage is needed. Most people comply when signs are clearly posted. This will clear the air and reduce tobacco litter.

Your right to smoke ends where my nostrils begin!

I am alergic to smoke so violations of the no smoking policy make my rides miserable. And then I get a sinus headache.

I am extremely allergic to tobacco smoke and the trip up escalators often is enough to set off spasms with resulting bronchial infections. I need Metro to keep its word to its passengers.

I have asthma and cannot tolerate secondhand tobacco smoke. The direct cause of my asthma us due to secondhand tobacco smoke exposure as a cild of two smokers.

It’s needed and the right thing to do to protect everyone’s health.

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