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Why ashtrays still exist on planes

Cosmopolitan (UK) logo Cosmopolitan (UK) 06-04-2017 Catriona Harvey-Jenner

This is why there are still ashtrays on planes even though smoking is banned © Getty This is why there are still ashtrays on planes even though smoking is banned I like to think of myself as an inquisitive human being, so it's no surprise that every time I board a plane I have the same thought: why on earth do these things still have ashtrays in the toilets when smoking on aeroplanes has been banned for yonks? 

It's a fair question, and I'm not the only one who's been thinking it.

I'm glad I'm not alone in this.

While your automatic thought might be that we've all just been flying on super-old planes which still have ashtrays because they were made back in the days before smoking mid-air was widely banned in the 90s - it turns out that's not the case. And TBH it's quite reassuring, because I would like to think they'd have updated the planes we risk our lives in every time we fly with modern, developed technology.

But the real reason for the existence of ashtrays on modern-day planes is perhaps even more reassuring for the nervous flier: they exist for a very important safety reason. In a recent Telegraph article which reveals various secrets about aircraft and flying, it explains that the Federal Aviation Administration (also known as the FAA) lists an ashtray in the toilet as a legal requirement for "minimum equipment".

© Provided by National magazine company ltd (Hearst UK) This is because if anyone were to light up a cigarette mid-flight (although they'd be sticking two fingers up to the law in doing so), the safest place to put the fag out is where? You guessed it: an ashtray. Because what would the alternative be? Trying to stub out a lit cigarette on a plane seat and risk causing a fire? No thanks.

So it actually makes complete sense when you think about it. Isn't it great to learn something new every day?

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