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Congresswoman Aims to Codify Amtrak Train Vaping Ban

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Even though there’s an existing ban on vaping while riding on Amtrak trains across the United States, for one congresswoman, that’s not enough.

Amtrak’s current smoking policy prohibits vaping on all trains and at stations. Passengers may get quick breaks at certain longer station stops “if time and conditions permit” and only if train crews announce that it’s permissible. Vapers and smokers must remain next to trains, and the rule may be susceptible to state and local laws.

However, Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) wants to take things one step further by introducing the Banning Smoking on Amtrak Act of 2019. The act would essentially codify Amtrak’s policy and is modeled after Norton’s Bill that was weaved into airplanes’ FAA Reauthorization Act in 2018. Norton said in her statement that she wants to codify the ban because if not, the policy could be reversed.

“My bill would make the ban a matter of federal law and put Congress on record in support of protecting people from secondhand smoke and its proven detrimental health effects,” she wrote. Even though there is no research proving that secondhand vape is harmful, Norton pointed out that it is “likely the effects of secondhand exposure to electronic cigarettes is harmful, too” as the reasoning behind her legislative hope.