Chicago Police Work to Extinguish Smoking on CTA

February 7, 2024

Chicago Police issued more smoking citations in 2023 than any year prior to the pandemic 


As part of Chicago Transit Authority’s continuing efforts to address smoking and improve the customer experience, the Chicago Police Department (CPD) issued more than 6,300 citations for those smoking on CTA properties in 2023 – more than any year since 2019.


Like many public spaces, smoking is prohibited on CTA’s buses and trains and in stations. In addition to standard regulatory signage—red-and-white signs showing a cigarette with a red line though it—CTA uses digital ads and audio announcements to emphasize the no-smoking message.


“Smoking on CTA trains, buses and stations is not just illegal, it’s thoughtless,” said CTA President Dorval R. Carter, Jr. “Not only is it a public health issue for those inhaling second-hand smoke, but it’s a nuisance to others who just want an enjoyable transit riding experience.” 


The Chicago Police Department, which provides law enforcement on the CTA system, is constantly on the lookout for violators while patrolling the system. In 2023, 6,385 citations were issued, compared to 4,024 in 2022, 4,341 in 2021 and 4,530 in 2020. It’s the highest number of citations since 2019, when CPD issued 6,494 citations.


To further complement the efforts of the police, CTA’s security guards continue to engage customers and inform them of the basic rules of behavior. The CTA received more than 1,000 smoking complaints from customers in 2023. The Red and Blue lines, which are the two trains that run 24/7, received the most complaints with 438 and 313 respectively. 


With around 800,000 riders on an average weekday, it’s impossible to stop every single instance of smoking on CTA. But the agency will continue its efforts to improve the travel environment as much as possible. Customers are encouraged to let CTA staff and security guards know if they see someone smoking on a train or bus.



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