Every airline I've been on has an ashtray in the bathrooms, ironically right below the sign that says no smoking in the bathrooms.

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If it's prohibited to smoke on airlines, and (in theory) you can't bring a lighter on the plane anyway, what's the point of the ashtray? If it's for cigarettes smoked before security, there are plenty of garbage cans and ashtrays outside of airports.


1 Answer 1


It's the law:

"Regardless of whether smoking is allowed in any other part of the airplane, lavatories must have self-contained, removable ashtrays located conspicuously on or near the entry side of each lavatory door"

It's because if someone does decide to break the law and smoke in the bathroom, they would rather you put your cigarette butt in the ash tray, rather than the trash can, which is a major fire hazard.

  • The CNN article you link to provides a citation to the US Code of Federal Regulations; this answer would be improved if it included that. But the main reason for this comment is to point out that the answer doesn't mention whether airplanes outside the US are affected by this regulation, or whether there are similar regulations in other jurisdictions.
    – phoog
    Apr 13, 2017 at 18:21
  • @phoog what do you mean by "aircraft outside the US" exactly...?
    – Moo
    Apr 13, 2017 at 18:54
  • @Moo He's saying that my article cites US laws and regulations. But every international airline I've flown also has ash trays. So are there rules set by other countries that apply to ash trays on planes. I'm looking into it.
    – Michael
    Apr 13, 2017 at 18:57
  • @MichaelC. I get that, Im asking what definition of "outside the US" would be used... Airbus aircraft receive FAA certification, so are bound by the same rules, so any aircraft delivered by Airbus or Boeing will have the ashtrays - if they have a cabin refit done outside the US and never fly into the US again, they may have the ashtrays removed. And thats just for compliance with the FARs, doesnt even take into account EASA regulations...
    – Moo
    Apr 13, 2017 at 19:00
  • 1
    @Moo well the question is closed because there's a dupe. We could reopen it if we modify it to be countries that don't require ashtrays.
    – Michael
    Apr 13, 2017 at 19:19

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