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Smoking On Airplanes, A Few Questions  
User currently offlineC5LOAD From United States of America, joined Sep 2008, 917 posts, RR: 0
Posted (4 years 2 months 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 34209 times:

I watched a cool youtube clip on a UA 727 inbound to DEN and noticed the smoking customers. It got me thinking the following questions:

1. When did smoking on a/c end?
2. Why?
3. What made it end?
4. Were there certain seating areas dedicated only to smoking?
5. Are there any airlines that allow it anymore?
6. And finally, were there any accidents attributed to smoking? I heard that the AC DC-9 accident in '83 was attributed to a cigarette?

[Edited 2010-02-15 19:31:37]


"But this airplane has 4 engines, it's an entirely different kind of flying! Altogether"
71 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineLTU932 From Germany, joined Jan 2006, 13864 posts, RR: 50
Reply 1, posted (4 years 2 months 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 34158 times:

Quoting C5LOAD (Thread starter):
When did smoking on a/c end?

Sometime in the mid 90's, smoking on aircraft was starting to get banned in the US, as well as international flights to and from the US. When I flew LT in 1997, smoking was outright banned on the entire DUS-MIA-SJO flight.

Quoting C5LOAD (Thread starter):
Why?

The usual heath issues, which became more and more known to people, and possibly along with the lawsuits against what the media called "big tobacco", as well as other controversies.

Quoting C5LOAD (Thread starter):
Were there certain seating areas dedicated only to smoking?

I remember that you could book seats in non-smoking areas, mixed areas and smoking areas.

Quoting C5LOAD (Thread starter):
Are there any airlines that allow it anymore?

I recall there was an airline in Southeast Asia that still allowed it, but the vast majority of airlines have completely banned smoking.


User currently offlinelonghauler From Canada, joined Mar 2004, 4760 posts, RR: 43
Reply 2, posted (4 years 2 months 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 34149 times:

Quoting C5LOAD (Thread starter):
I heard that the AC DC-9 accident in '83 was attributed to a cigarette?

The cause of the fire in the aft lav that eventually led to its demise was never determined.

The most likely cause was an electrical malfunction/wiring error caused either during the installation of the new interior, or reconstruction after a rear pressure dome failure several years before.



Never gonna grow up, never gonna slow down .... Barefoot Blue Jean Night
User currently onlinerwessel From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 2238 posts, RR: 2
Reply 3, posted (4 years 2 months 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 34128 times:
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In 1990, the US government banned smoking on all commercial domestic flights less than six hours in length (basically that eliminated smoking from all flights with out one end in AK or HI, and many that did go to those states (the ban left something like 30 daily smoking flights left in the US). Interestingly the same rule largely eliminated smoking on interstate* bus trips. Prior to that smoking was allowed by most carriers, on most flights. There was usually a smoking section (frequently the rear of the cabin).

Many non-US carriers have followed suit, either by themselves, or at the orders of their respective governments, but some still do allow smoking. Most of the US carriers with international routes also eliminated smoking on international routes by the end of the nineties, and many European carriers went, or were in the process of going smoke free by that time too. Delta was first to go smoke free globally in 1995, American, TWA and United followed a couple of years later.

As a general comment the airlines *love* the smoking ban - the cigarette smoke residue adds a significant maintenance burden.


*It's never been clear to me whether the Federal government actually banned smoking on intrastate flights - that sort of thing is usually outside the fed's remit, but aviation is special in a number of ways. Of course that would have limited practical impact.


User currently onlineLoneStarMike From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 3783 posts, RR: 34
Reply 4, posted (4 years 2 months 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 34072 times:

Quoting rwessel (Reply 3):
n 1990, the US government banned smoking on all commercial domestic flights less than six hours in length

True, but there was an earlier ban than went into effect in April of 1988 that banned smoking on all U.S. flights less than two hours, which - back then - was about 80% of all U.S. domestic flights according to this old NYTimes article

LoneStarMike


User currently offlineC5LOAD From United States of America, joined Sep 2008, 917 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (4 years 2 months 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 34048 times:

Quoting LoneStarMike (Reply 4):
True, but there was an earlier ban than went into effect in April of 1988 that banned smoking on all U.S. flights less than two hours

But there was a period of about 25 yrs of commercial aviation in which smoking was allowed. So why did it take 25 years to figure that smoking was bad and should be banned?



"But this airplane has 4 engines, it's an entirely different kind of flying! Altogether"
User currently offlineAeroWesty From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 20322 posts, RR: 63
Reply 6, posted (4 years 2 months 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 34038 times:

Quoting LoneStarMike (Reply 4):
True, but there was an earlier ban than went into effect in April of 1988

Even earlier was California's law of Jan. 1, 1988:

California Smoking Ban



International Homo of Mystery
User currently offlineLTU932 From Germany, joined Jan 2006, 13864 posts, RR: 50
Reply 7, posted (4 years 2 months 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 34024 times:

Quoting C5LOAD (Reply 5):
But there was a period of about 25 yrs of commercial aviation in which smoking was allowed. So why did it take 25 years to figure that smoking was bad and should be banned?

Probably because smoking was much more accepted before it eventually became more and more restricted and banned in things such as public transportation and even on commercial aircraft. It wasn't until the early 1990s when more people and even the authorities became more aware of the dangers of smoking, particularly second hand smoke.


User currently offlineTK787 From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 4299 posts, RR: 12
Reply 8, posted (4 years 2 months 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 33983 times:

It might sound crazy now, but in those day I remember smoking and drinking at the back of the planes across the pond, standing up for hours. It used to be a party atmosphere where you meet people, make friends.

User currently offlineBohica From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 2629 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (4 years 2 months 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 33975 times:

Quoting rwessel (Reply 3):
In 1990, the US government banned smoking on all commercial domestic flights less than six hours in length

IIRC the US Govt banned smoking on flights of two hours or less back in 1987ish before it was extended to 6 hours. Later the ban included all domestic flights and all international flights to/from the USA.

Quoting rwessel (Reply 3):
It's never been clear to me whether the Federal government actually banned smoking on intrastate flights

IIRC California was the first state to ban smoking on intrastate flights back in 1986 I believe.

Quoting rwessel (Reply 3):
the cigarette smoke residue adds a significant maintenance burden.

Old time mechanics loved it. The nicotine marks on the outside of the plane identified pressurization leaks.

Edit: While typing my post, a couple others posted the accurate dates.

[Edited 2010-02-15 20:18:48]

User currently offlineTtailfan From United States of America, joined Sep 2009, 69 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (4 years 2 months 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 33051 times:

To start with a disclaimer...I am probably the most anti-smoking person posting here...

What areas of the aircraft were smoking...ALL OF IT. It didn't matter that they had a "special" smoking section in one part or all over...everyone was forced to breathe the same air...so did it really matter in the long run? Nope, not really. The stench and smoke ended up all over.

But I do remember hearing that the mechanics hated to see smoking stopped. The stories I heard was that the smoke/tar/nicotine from all the smoking would "highlight" stress cracks and helped them replace stuff before it became a serious problem. I don't know this for fact, but that is what I've heard over the years.

Its been so long since I've been in a building that was a smoking building that when I was at the indian casino in Mt. Pleasant...I couldn't believe just how horribly pervasive it was back when I was a kid in the 60s and 70s. My God it is so much better today with all the smoking restrictions.


User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 24080 posts, RR: 22
Reply 11, posted (4 years 2 months 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 32946 times:

I believe AC and CP were the first (or almost the first) major carriers to ban smoking systemwide, after introducing the ban gradually on certain routes. Japan was one of the last routes to be added to the list due to the high percentage of smokers in Japan and concerns about being uncompetitive with the Japanese carriers that still permitted smoking then. But if memory correct, the response was positive and CP and AC probably gained more passengers due to the smoking ban than they lost to JL and NH.

User currently offlineAirframeAS From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 14150 posts, RR: 25
Reply 12, posted (4 years 2 months 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 32350 times:

Quoting C5LOAD (Thread starter):
2. Why?

Replacing the circulation air filters aint cheap, sir! They had to be replaced quite frequently.... something like twice a month.



A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
User currently offlineDesertAir From Mexico, joined Jan 2006, 1445 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (4 years 2 months 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 31489 times:

When selecting a seat, we were asked if we wanted to sit in smoking (the back half of the aircraft) or non-smoking (the front half of the aircraft). If you sat close to the smoking section, in non-smoking, it was smoke filled. Pipes and cigars were not allowed, if I remember correctly. It was horrible. I think it was Muse, that was a smoke-free airline.

User currently offlineDeltaflyertoo From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 1637 posts, RR: 1
Reply 14, posted (4 years 2 months 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 31349 times:

WHat I remember most about smoking flights was how the non smoking sign along w/ its chime would come off immediately after takeoff. I could feel the landing gear wasn't already up and already the chime went off and the sign was off and people were permitted to smoke. What struck me odd then, and still does many years later is how the pilots, with all they had going on at that moment, would have time, and or the airline would allow it that early in the departure to turn off the sign so people could smoke! LOL.

My mother who was deathly afraid of flying and still is preferred the smoking days because in her head when the no smoking sign went off so soon after liftoff she would think "things must be okay with the takeoff and flight then!". And then she could relax a tad.


User currently offlineCF6PPE From United States of America, joined Mar 2006, 339 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (4 years 2 months 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 31280 times:

The trip down the aisle from the non-smoking to the (rear) lavatories was like walking into a smoke filled bar.

I was never amused with the smokers who wouldn't sit in the smoking section, but moved to the smoking section to burn a weed. Many of us non-smokers ended up sitting in the designated smoking areas due to the smokers sitting in the designated non-smoking section. Go figure....!!

Also, when the first class sections on the B727's and DC9's seating areas were reduced to less that ten seats, it was difficult to escape from the smokers. Somehow we lived through it, but it was fantastic when smoking was banned.

my two cents...


User currently onlineLoneStarMike From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 3783 posts, RR: 34
Reply 16, posted (4 years 2 months 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 31193 times:

Quoting DesertAir (Reply 13):
Pipes and cigars were not allowed, if I remember correctly.

In the U.S. I think cigars were allowed in the early 1970's. I vividly remember being on an AA flight with my grandparents from LGA to DAL in June 1973 and my grandfather lit up a cigar. My grandmother was mortified and kept telling him he needed to stop - no one wants to smell that, and she went on and on.

He kept right on smoking and none of the FA's asked him to stop.

Also - note this ad from the 1950's for UA's "Men Only Flights.



The text mentions being able to smoke cigars, and pipes, too.

LoneStarMike


User currently offlinemicstatic From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 773 posts, RR: 1
Reply 17, posted (4 years 2 months 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 31130 times:

I'm a smoker, but I'm happy it's banned. Would never want to land with that degree of smoke odor on me. I've always thought non-smoking sections in restaurants/airplanes, was like having a no peeing section in a pool.


S340,DH8,AT7,CR2/7,E135/45/170/190,319,320,717,732,733,734,735,737,738,744,752,762,763,764,772,M80,M90
User currently offlineN801NW From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 744 posts, RR: 1
Reply 18, posted (4 years 2 months 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 30941 times:

Northwest banned smoking on all domestic flights as of April 23, 1988.

Here is the TV ad.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aF3lqfIjph8


User currently offlinebraynfeeble From Canada, joined Aug 2005, 70 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (4 years 2 months 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 30450 times:

Thank goodness smoking ended on commercial flights. It used to be quite gross on board if you sat anywhere near the smoking section which was usually fully occupied at the aft end of the airplane. Back there, the overhead bins were stained yellow from the tobacco. Plus some people used to just sit there with a lit cigarette and keep lighting them but not really smoke them at all! I believe Air France was one of the last to phase out smoking as they still had a smoking area cordoned off on B747 as late as the 1990's. It would be interesting to find out if there is anywhere in the world that still permits smoking....


♥☆•*¨*•.¸¸¸.•*¨* •☆•*¨* je voudrais voler / comme un oiseau d'aile d'aile ♥☆•*¨*•.¸¸¸.•*¨* •☆•*¨*
User currently offlineLTBEWR From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 12881 posts, RR: 12
Reply 20, posted (4 years 2 months 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 30414 times:

One of the key factors in the ending of smoking on airliners is the secondhand exposures of employees, especially flight attendants. That secondhand exposure was causing increasing rates of respiritory diseases as by the mid-1980's most flight attendants were long-term careerists, not just someone working for a few years. That the smoking occured in a sealed container with no escape unlike on the ground or even a ship and limited ventalation make smoking even worse for non-smokers. I flew on commercial aircraft in the smoking era and feel today is a lot better in many ways.

Besides the benefits from no more smoking already noted, there is ending fights and arguements between smokers and non-smokers, especially at the dividing point, no more cigarette burns, ashes or butts on seat cushions and carpets, one less issue as to reservations and seating, no longer having to clean seat ashtrays, no smoke exposures to other pax who may have respiratory issues and to children, eliminate the need to have lighters or matches in the cabin that could be used in a terror act and so on.


User currently offlinesmi0006 From Australia, joined Jan 2008, 1488 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (4 years 2 months 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 30014 times:

Hahahah

Who says it has ended for crew though?

I routinely do the ground handling for a major Chinese airline and often go down to the aircraft to deliver the Load-sheet, only to be greeted by a cock-pit filled with smoke and a hand stretching through the clouds of smoke to take the paperwork hahahh.


User currently offlinePacNWjet From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 919 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (4 years 2 months 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 29938 times:

Quoting CF6PPE (Reply 15):
I was never amused with the smokers who wouldn't sit in the smoking section, but moved to the smoking section to burn a weed.

I was on a flight from Madrid to Athens on Olympic in the summer of 1994. The smoking section was virtually empty when the plane took off, but when the seat belt sign was turned off dozens of passengers immediately got up and moved to the smoking section to light up. They all returned to the non-smoking section when the meal was served, then returned to the back of the plane for a post-meal smoke. Pretty humorous.


User currently offlinePWM2TXLHopper From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 1302 posts, RR: 1
Reply 23, posted (4 years 2 months 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 29816 times:

The only flight I've ever flown on with smoking permitted was an Air Berlin flight, in 2003, flying between TXL-PMI. It was a brand new 737-800. Smoking on German flights was outlawed the following year.

As a smoker, I was pleasantly surprised that I could smoke. I liked it, but understand how it must have been hell for non-smokers! Personally, I wish you still could on flights over six hours.

[Edited 2010-02-16 22:37:10]

User currently offlineBohica From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 2629 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (4 years 2 months 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 29795 times:

Quoting N801NW (Reply 18):
Northwest banned smoking on all domestic flights as of April 23, 1988.

Here is the TV ad.

Just a little trivia. The advertising agency who created the commercial was fired by its largest customer becausse of that ad. They were fired by Nabisco. At the time Nabisco was owned by RJReynolds.


25 Post contains images AeroWesty : I thought it was really cheeky when non-smokers booked seats in the smoking section of First to try and make it all non-smoking. I was on a CO DC-9 o
26 OzGlobal : America isn't always first. The ban on domestic flights in Australia can in 1986 and on Qantas international flights from 1989.
27 Type-Rated : Back around 1984 or so a guy in our office flew Bcal IAH-LGW. He was seated in the first non-smoking row ahead of smoking. Of course he could smell th
28 AirbusA6 : From memory, weren't the smoking sections at the back of each class, so that the smokers in C would be right in front of the non smokers in Y! Talking
29 OzGlobal : Typical of the egocentric behaviour generated by all addictions. Smokers have done me more harm than a serious of minor physical assults combined ove
30 Post contains images EZEIZA : From what I remember the first ones to ban smoking was the US, early 90's. In international flights from/to the US on foreign companies, you could sm
31 Post contains links Reality : As was pointed out in the NY Times article in Reply 4.................... "Air Canada banned it on flights of two hours or less a year ago [1987] and
32 bongodog1964 : My last flight with smoking permitted was a BA flight from LHR to Kai tak in April 1997. Flew VS LGW - ANU in February 1998 and it was all non smokin
33 TXJim : I was a regular on the KE LAX-SEL flights in the 90s and would sit in their Business cabin. I seem to remember this was about 8 rows divided into smo
34 mauiman31 : UA ran these flights into the 60's using the new Caravelles. . . can you believe it now??? So funny. I used to smoke, but never did on a plane. . . a
35 EZEIZA : You are still allowed to have lighters on planes, at least on IB and AR I underst not being able to smoke on flights, but allow me to have one on the
36 Post contains images SeaBosDca : I'm right there with you. I've been banging the drum since I started posting. I think air travel today is vastly more pleasant than it was in the "go
37 ssides : Could you post a link to this video?
38 Post contains links C5LOAD : Here it is. Sorry I got it all wrong, it was USair, not UA, and it was from CLT-SFO not DEN. the smoking announcement is made around 3:20 into the vi
39 Post contains images Hywel : Try flying domestically on Egyptair smoking is officially banned but the FA's turn a completely blind eye...
40 Viscount724 : While true on most carriers, it wasn't universal and didnt' always apply in all classes. When they still had first class, KLM and Sabena even handed
41 Type-Rated : I may have gotten the year wrong, but I certainlyd do remember the idiot relating the story.
42 Post contains images Dano1977 : Both my parents smoked, so when young and flying i had to sit with them, as soon as i was old enough, around about 12/14 years old, i requested non sm
43 Post contains images Airportugal310 : just do what i do...smokeless tobacco! every flight is a tobacco flight for me! Mint Skoal Pouches, of course
44 xbraniffone : I was an FA for Braniff, late 70's to 82 bankruptcy. Smoking section was normal for flying at that time and we the back half was smoking . Last row of
45 andz : Back when SAA still allowed smoking and I non-revved long haul the stand bys always ended up in the smoking section. Passengers would walk back from
46 spacecadet : The thing is, people in those days were mostly just used to it. I'm sure there have always been people who were militant about not smoking, just like
47 Post contains images boeingfever777 : NW 747 CA are imfamous for lighting up in the cockpit on transpacs. My flight instructor is a former NW CA, U2 pilot in the Air Force, and smoker!
48 MilesDependent : I have heard that quite a few Asian airlines turn a blind eye to pilots smoking in the flight deck (e.g. MH and the Chinese airlines). Could be hog-wa
49 ERJ135 : Ok I may get flamed here but I seem to remember that Lauda was the first airline to go non smoking. I remember the adds when they began flights to Syd
50 EZEIZA : If there's somehwere where smoing should be permitted is the cockpit. Pilots that smoke should be allowed to have one or two ciggs, especially on lon
51 ETinCaribe : Probably why it took so long to ban smoking in other public areas: fighting the tobacco interests is neither easy nor cheap. I flew on the QF A380 an
52 Max777geek : standing to the tv show "high altitude investigations" (sorry in italian came with this title, rough translated back) on national geographic channel,
53 WN700Driver : Isn't that the truth! I remember a TATL flight my father and I took when I was about six (Mid-80's, lol). We actually met (and talked with for a whil
54 LTU932 : Could that also be a reason why most new-built aircraft still have a No-Smoking sign (which in this day and age, could just as easily be replaced wit
55 Tennis69 : I realize this thread is not to debate the good verses bad issues about smoking but..... When you compare the actual number of deaths that can be ide
56 Post contains links rwessel : Yikes. That's so wrong I hardly know where to begin. In the US smoking is responsible for some 440,000 deaths per year, or about a *fifth* of the tot
57 ELAL 744 : II was told of an airline that divided their smoking/non-smoking sections by right-hand side of the plane (smoking) and left-hand side (non-smoking).
58 longhauler : British Airways used to do this on their narrowbodies. In 1980 I flew on a VC-10 YYZ-YMX-PIK-MAN. Non smoking was on the left side of the aircraft, s
59 hondah35 : While I am not a smoker, it should be pointed out that any reduction of smoking deaths will have no effect on total deaths.
60 Post contains links Type-Rated : I think back on the older type planes (727, DC-9, etc) the cabin air was exchanged much more often so smoke would clear faster. None of those micro pa
61 rwessel : Neither will eliminating airliner crashes – we’re all going to die. But in both cases, smoking or airplane crashes, the death is earlier than it
62 Post contains images DLPhoenix : AF implemented such a systems in the late 90s before they banned smoking altogether. They allocated a smoking zone separated by curtains where passen
63 Viscount724 : I recall several carriers that did that, or at least experimented with it. The rationale was that the ventilation sysem sucked the smoke upwards so i
64 Reality : Unless you believe in karma and that you can't escape your destined time of death, no matter if you smoke or not, fly or not, are subjected to 2nd ha
65 xbraniffone : On the older Braniff 727's you could see nicotine stains around the edges of the window and I believe it would be on the other side of the window as
66 Post contains images Argonaut : Could you please give us the unimpeachable source of information that verifies this extraordinary assertion?? No? Didn't think so. While researching
67 747buff : With the cramped Y class seating that became the norm after deregulation, I've always wondered: how did people even have room to smoke? In regards to
68 Tennis69 : So 10 million deaths/year out of the 1.5 billion people who smoke every year. I don't smoke, but not bad odds if you do.
69 SB : Newer aircraft do. The no-smoking is still there but painted on. To answer a question about no-smoking signs coming off immediately after take-off: o
70 ualcsr : I thought I'd read on here that CU still allows smoking. True? I remember flying UA, MIA-LIM somewhere between 1996 and 1998 on a 757 in First. Rows 1
71 rwessel : Again, that's 10 million out of the some 56-57 million who die each year. IOW, if the trend stays the same (always a risky assumption), of the approx
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