This is a pretty interesting article from Mental Floss which highlights that while you might not have an ashtray on your armrest, but there’s almost certainly one in the bathroom. The US Code Of Federal Regulation for Airworthiness requires them there by law since it’s where nicotine addicts are most likely to light up.
“As planes have come down in the past due to people stubbing out their cigarette in a bin of paper towels, the thinking is it’s better to have something in place on the chance that someone breaks the rules. The alternative, of not having ashtrays, risks the safety of the whole plane.”
How people think they can smoke a cigarette on an airplane and not get caught is a bit hard to comprehend. Maybe all of these rule breakers are why there’s still a no-smoking light next to the fasten seat belt sign on most flights.
If You Can’t Smoke On Planes, Why Are There Still Ashtrays? (via Mental Floss)