Teen inspires new law that bans smoking in SEPTA bus shelters

Councilman Al Taubenberger sponsored the bill after meeting 18-year-old Anna Nguyen

John McDevitt
June 15, 2018 - 6:17 pm
 Anna Nguyen with Mayor Kenney

John McDevitt | KYW Newsradio

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) -- A Philadelphia teenager who inspired a city council bill prohibiting smoking at SEPTA bus shelters witnessed the bill signed into law by Mayor Jim Kenney at City Hall on Friday.  

Eighteen-year-old Anna Nguyen just graduated from Masterman High School. She met Councilman Al Taubenberger when he spoke to her class about city government. She has a lung condition, and asked the councilman about laws prohibiting smoking at bus stops.

"It's very meaningful," Nguyen said, "because it's not only for me, but it's for the whole city, because you don't know who has a respiratory illness and who doesn't, and also the people who are most at risk are Philadelphia's senior citizens and children. And SEPTA is a public place that some people rely on, and having people smoke there is very dangerous."

READ: Philly student inspires legislation that bans smoking in bus shelters

The councilman looked into it and found no law, so he sponsored the bill, and the rest is history.

"I wanted to be a history teacher," Taubenberger said. "I never made that and this is my history teacher coming out of me. And I want to thank Anna for allowing me to be the history teacher I always wanted to be."

Nguyen will be a freshman at the University of Pennsylvania. She will be studying pre-medicine.