Tucked away in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act crafted by a bipartisan group of senators is a ban on the use of electronic cigarettes on the nation’s government-owned rail service — and President Joe Biden’s favorite method of transportation.Credit: BT Renstrom
“Amtrak shall prohibit smoking, including the use of electronic cigarettes, onboard all Amtrak trains,” the bill says. “The term ‘electronic cigarette’ means a device that delivers nicotine or other substances to a user of the device in the form of a vapor that is inhaled to simulate the experience of smoking.”
Democratic Delaware Sen. Tom Carper and Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, Washington’s nonvoting representative in Congress, previously spearheaded the effort to make Amtrak’s smoking ban law.
“In 2021, smoking has no place in enclosed public spaces like train cars. 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 said in a statement in June. “I think we can all agree that it’s time to ban smoking on passenger rail.”
The bill, the text of which was unveiled Sunday night, includes $6.57 billion in grants to Amtrak for the railway’s northeast corridor, which connects Washington, D.C., to Boston, and $12.65 billion for Amtrak’s national network. Another $36 billion would go to federal-state partnership rail grants, with $24 billion of that targeting the northeast corridor.
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