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New Law Bans Smoking Inside CDTA Bus Shelters

ALBANY -- Smokers can now be fined $50 for smoking inside a CDTA bus shelter in Albany. The City's common council voted on a ban this week in efforts to protect riders from second hand smoke.

The ban adds to an existing ordinance that prohibits smoking in public spaces near health

"If I wasn't a smoker, I wouldn't want anyone smoking around me, so I would hope people would be considerate," says CDTA rider, Chris Iusi.

The chief executive over at CDTA says it's usually not the riders that are causing other riders to complain, it's the smokers that need somewhere to light up during inclement weather.

"Often times it's people in the neighborhood walking by, in the winter months, or a rain storm, they'll duck into the shelter, finish their cigarette, and then move along. There's nothing bad going on here, but there's a health issue here and a comfort issue," says Carm Basile, CEO of CDTA.

Albany councilman, Richard Conti is the ban's sponsor he tells CBS6 the vote was unanimous for multiple reasons.

"There's the dangers of second hand smoke, so it's a public health issue, you have an enclosed area where people expect to be able to wait in a safe clean environment," says Conti. "There's also a related issue concern regarding liter because once people finish their cigarette they flick their butts."

Smoking inside the bus shelters was already a violation of CDTA policy, but the company had no help enforcing the rule until now.

"It was simply taking a policy that was already there and then connecting it with an enforcement mechanism," says Conti.

Basil says he hopes other cities in the area will follow in Albany's footsteps, but both Schenectady and Troy tell CBS6 there are no pending plans at this time.