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'Love Your Lungs' & take a stand against smoking on transit

Over the past decade, the number of Minnesotans who smoke has steadily decreased. Yet, since the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve seen an increase in the number of riders violating our Rules for Riding by lighting up at stations, stops, and on buses and light rail trains. 

Smoking in prohibited areas doesn’t just violate Your Role As A Rider, it's illegal. Under Minnesota Statute 609.855, smoking in a transit vehicle or at a transit facility is a misdemeanor crime, punishable by up to 90 days in jail, a $1,000 fine, or both. 

In recent weeks, we've prominently posted new signage at boarding areas outlining the behaviors and illegal activities we won't accept on our system – including smoking.  

But some issues, like this one, requires us to take a more direct approach. And that’s what we’re doing through our Love Your Lungs campaign. 

Smoking doesn’t just harm one person’s health, it’s also damaging to others. That’s especially true for our youngest riders. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, even brief exposure to secondhand smoke can lead to respiratory infections, ear infections, asthma attacks, and even sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) in children. 

So, we’ve enlisted the help of some local youth to relay a simple message over our announcement system: Please don’t smoke at the station, stop, or on the bus or train. You harm our health when we ride together.

You have to admit, it’s pretty cute. But don’t be fooled – we are serious about ending this illegal activity. We’ve also instructed Metro Transit Police officers, Community Service Officers, supplemental security, Transit Rider Investment Program Agents, and our Transit Safety Intervention Project partners to target in on smoking, which includes:  

  • Cigarettes 

  • Cigars 

  • E-cigarettes, vapes, and modes 

  • Marijuana 

  • Illegal drugs 

Violators face being removed from transit property or cited with a misdemeanor. 

We, at Metro Transit, are fed up with smoking. And we know our riders are, too. So, we’re asking you to help us take a stand and extinguish this problem. To discreetly report smoking, text us at 612-900-0411 or use Text for Safety through our mobile app

We also realize that smoking is an extremely difficult addiction to break, and that’s why we’ve asked MN Quit Partner and the American Lung Association to provide riders with free resources to help them quit. Metro Transit staff will have these materials on hand during our Great Week in Transit from Feb. 19 through 23. 

Our Love Your Lungs campaign is just the first of several initiatives to Take Pride in Your Ride. You’ll see other efforts to address issues like littering and behavior later this year. 

Free Tools to Help You Quit 

Help Someone You Care About Quit