Practical info: why there are still ashtrays in airplane toilets

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even though Airlines companies prohibit from smoke on board since the 1990s, the ashtrays in the toilets planes are still present. This apparent presence of ashtrays may seem contradictory, but it has a important reason in matters of security.

Before the in-flight smoking ban, airplanes were areas where passengers could smoke freely. Ashtrays were therefore standard equipment in toilets and seat armrests. However, with growing awareness of health risks from second-hand smoke and potential fires, more and more airlines have banned smoking on board.

So why are the ashtrays still there despite this ban? The main reason lies in potential emergency situations. In the event of unauthorized passenger behavior or a medical emergency, crew members may encounter people who may be secretly smoking in the lavatory. In these circumstances, it is essential that passengers can properly extinguish their cigarettes without the risk of causing a fire.

By keeping ashtrays on board, airlines encourage passengers to use them if they smoke illegally in flight. So if a fire breaks out in the restroom, ashtrays provide a safe place to extinguish cigarettes rather than throwing them in a trash can where they could ignite flammable waste.

Additionally, ashtrays in the lavatory also allow crews to easily clean the lavatory when needed, as throwing a lit cigarette into a regular waste container could cause a fire and pose a much greater risk.

In conclusion, although in-flight smoking has long been banned, ashtrays in aircraft lavatories are present for safety reasons. They provide a safe way for offending passengers to extinguish their cigarettes without risking a potentially dangerous fire. It’s a reminder that flight safety always comes first, even in situations where ashtrays may seem unnecessary.

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