I think the long stops are mainly to do train stuff... refuel, refill the water tanks, pump out the waste tanks, remove garbage and load fresh food, change crews, etc. (Usually the onboard staff stays with the train for the whole trip, though sometimes my Sleeping Car Attendant has changed in the middle, but I think the engineers usually don't sleep on the train but change every 8-10 hours or so, whatever the maximum allowable continuous shift is. Changing crews takes some time.) I don't think the reason for "Smoke Stops" is primarily for the convenience of smokers.
If Amtrak wanted to lose lots of revenue from non-smokers, and increase cleaning costs while opening themselves up to potential lawsuits from employees should any of them develop lung cancer, then yes. Otherwise, no.
The thought of going into any relatively enclosed environment where smoking is happening or has happened makes me shudder. The prospect of being put into a sleeper previously occupied by a smoker is "UNTHINKABLE".
When I was in charge of several sites way back in the 1980's on my way home I would occasionally have to call into one of those sites where there were smokers. Even though I might only spend a minute or so in the office, my wife would always know that I had called in due to the odour that had infiltrated into my clothing.
Even today, when smoking is banned in all public indoor spaces, if I happen to be walking outside I can often detect a smoker from 20 - 30 yards away simply from the smell in the air - and it is not pleasant !
I make these comments as someone who has not actually got any objection to people smoking, (tobacco NOT cannabis), as long as their smoking does not impact on me personally. Indeed I spent my whole working life in a company associated with and dependent on the tobacco industry.
Of course these lengthened stops are primarily for operational reasons, but as a non smoker I appreciate the opportunity to step off the train for a "fresh air break." That is, if I can get away from the smokers.
NO NO NO I am on oxygen and in addition to the console I use at home, I have a portable unit. When I am near someone who is smoking, the smoke goes through the air, into my portable unit, and into my lungs.
The trouble with smoke is it doesn't stay "where it's supposed to." Back when smoking was allowed, the smoke from the people in the next compartment would drift into our compartment - especially because it's a shared ventilation system.
The only way it would work is if each smoking compartment had its own ventilation system which would blow air through there like a hurricane, so that the smoke wouldn't soil the curtains and other surfaces.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – In honor of Lung Cancer Awareness Month, this week, Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), former Amtrak Board Member and top Democrat on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, introduced legislation that would ban smoking on Amtrak. Senator Carper’s legislation, the...
I remember a ride on the Crescent back in 1990. No smoking, except in the lounge/cafe car. They had some kind of incredibly powerful HVAC system that seemed to be able to clear the smoke to the point that you couldn't even smell the smoke from a person puffing away across the table from you. But, of course, back then, the background reek from tobacco was much more common, so perhaps if I got into a time machine and was able to go back and ride in the same car, I would now notice the smell..
Oh, and in the "golden age" before Amtrak, most railroads allowed smoking in special "smoking cars." These reeked of tobacco, even if no one was smoking, and, except for the smokers, nobody wanted to ride in them. I found that out the hard way on one of my early joyrides, when I found an almost empty car on a crowded PRR NEC train. I didn't take me long to figure out why that car was empty.
Just to round out the tales of the past, back when I was in college, I smoked a pipe, and would you believe it, but TWA allowed my to smoke my pipe on an airplane in flight! In retrospect, I'm surprised the other passengers didn't pitch me out the door without a parachute!
In sort, No, No, NO, never allow smoking on the train again. If necessary, they should have nicotine gum for sale in the cafe car.
Have you ever seen anyone die from lunge failure??? With covid now... that's how it kills.
But when I was 19 and in college I had to go to the hospital with hives... a nervous condition. My room mate was dying of lung cancer. His breathing was forced and sounded dreadfully painful. He had been a heavy smoker.
Smoking causes lung cancer... for those who smoke and from those who breath in the fumes from the smoker's cigarette and breath. Smoking is a toxic killer.
My biggest question is regarding this thread. There is positively no argument that can support smoking. If anyone has a smoking problem go and get help before it kills you.
If the concern is that "smokers' stops" unnecessarily lengthen schedules and delay trains, shouldn't the answer be to remove/shorten those stops (at least those that exist to accommodate smokers and not for some other operating reason)?
Never has an idea been shot down faster and more decisively on these forums than this one. It's a heartening sign that, despite the intractable "feuds" that arise whenever toilets in roomettes or pets on trains are mentioned, we all agree on something.
Only about 15% of the US population smokes, why should Amtrak do anything more to accomodate them? I would much rather there be tavern cars on Amtrak than smoke lounges. Tavern cars would at least make money, whereas attracting only 15% of the population with an equal or greater loss from nonsmokers would be a dumb idea.