C5LOAD From United States of America, joined Sep 2008, 917 posts, RR: 0 Posted (5 years 12 months 3 hours ago) and read 39795 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?
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"
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.
rwessel From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 2740 posts, RR: 2
Reply 3, posted (5 years 12 months 3 hours ago) and read 39714 times:
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.
LoneStarMike From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 4028 posts, RR: 30
Reply 4, posted (5 years 12 months 3 hours ago) and read 39658 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
LTU932 From Germany, joined Jan 2006, 14227 posts, RR: 46
Reply 7, posted (5 years 12 months 3 hours ago) and read 39610 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.
TK787 From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 4897 posts, RR: 11
Reply 8, posted (5 years 12 months 2 hours ago) and read 39569 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.
Bohica From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 2856 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (5 years 12 months 2 hours ago) and read 39561 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.
Ttailfan From United States of America, joined Sep 2009, 69 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (5 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 38637 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.
Viscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 28715 posts, RR: 24
Reply 11, posted (5 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 38532 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.
DesertAir From Mexico, joined Jan 2006, 1545 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (5 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 37075 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.
Deltaflyertoo From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 1735 posts, RR: 1
Reply 14, posted (5 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 36935 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.
CF6PPE From United States of America, joined Mar 2006, 383 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (5 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 36866 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.
LoneStarMike From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 4028 posts, RR: 30
Reply 16, posted (5 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 36779 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.
micstatic From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 839 posts, RR: 1
Reply 17, posted (5 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 36716 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.
braynfeeble From Canada, joined Aug 2005, 71 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (5 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 36036 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....
LTBEWR From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 13765 posts, RR: 17
Reply 20, posted (5 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 36000 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.
smi0006 From Australia, joined Jan 2008, 1717 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (5 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 35600 times:
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.
PacNWjet From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 980 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (5 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 35524 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.
PWM2TXLHopper From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 1437 posts, RR: 1
Reply 23, posted (5 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day ago) and read 35402 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.