# Why don't airplanes have smoking cabins?

Is there any airplane model that has a small lavatory-like cabin just for smoking? I have never seen any such planes and that made me wonder why this is?

It would not take much more room than a normal lavatory, make it much less likely that someone will smoke in the lavatory regardless of the ban and provide smokers a way to satisfy their need.

I will have to add that I am not a smoker, just a person with weird ideas/questions.

Related Questions:

• Totally unrelated, but they do this in Amsterdam in the Winter in certain pubs - the only restriction (due to the smoking ban) is that staff aren't allowed in the smoking room. – Danny Beckett Nov 15 '14 at 15:20
• It costs three or six seats - that is too much for any airline. – Peter Kämpf Nov 15 '14 at 17:09
• Smoking used to be permitted anywhere in the cabin, then relegated to the back rows before being banned altogether. Apart from cost/revenue concerns, installation of a smoking room would be a step backward in health, safety, and social trends. – Anthony X Nov 16 '14 at 2:43
• FWIW, I've heard that there have been fewer problems with outflow valves since the smoking ban. I Googled "outflow valve damage from smoking" and it would seem there is at least some evidence to support this. – Terry Mar 8 '15 at 0:49
• @Terry is right. Have you ever seen the goop which accumulated in the ventilation system when smoking was still allowed? The condensate from cigarettes caused all sort of trouble (and was extremely disgusting to remove). – Peter Kämpf Mar 8 '15 at 11:59

Just off the top of my head,

• It would take up space that could be used for three or four paying passengers. This would result in increased ticket prices for everybody and the non-smoking majority have no incentive to subsidise a smoking cubicle.

• It would require a ventilation system that would prevent smoky air from getting into the rest of the cabin, which would add weight and complexity.

• It's a fire risk and a small fire from some idiot disposing of paper in the ashtray could spread; it would be hard to detect such a fire early because you couldn't just put a smoke detector in the smoking cubicle. (I guess an infra-red detector would work.)

• Almost nobody tries to smoke in the lavatory so reducing the occurrence of an event that hardly ever happens isn't worth much.

• Rates of smoking are decreasing in most Western countries, so demand for such a cubicle is already falling.

• Anti-smoking legislation is often aimed at worker protection: who's going to clean the smoking cubicle and what equipment will they need?

• I doubt there's significant pressure, even from smokers, for such a service to be provided.

• On the 3rd point, there are smoke detectors that distinguish cigarette smoke. – Danny Beckett Nov 15 '14 at 20:57
• On the fire risk thing, remember that during the so called "Golden Age" of aviation, EVERYONE smoked on the plane! How many fires happened because of that? – Jasmine Feb 3 '15 at 21:53
• @Jasmine Plenty. The fire on Air Canada flight 797 probably wasn't caused by a cigarette but the NTSB report on it says (page 61) "While an actual in-flight fire is an extremely rare occurence [...] [reports of smoke in the cabin] often turn out to be smoke from an overheating [lavatory] flushing motor or waste ignited by a discarded cigarette". It's suggested that the captain might have landed that plane sooner if smoke in the lavatory wasn't a fairly common occurrence. – David Richerby Feb 3 '15 at 23:26

It's against FAA regulations.

According to FAA regulations, smoking lit cigarettes or anything else that produces smoke or flame is prohibited onboard most commercial aircraft.

The Wikipedia article doesn't reference the FAA regulation and I haven't found it using Google (I only found a document relating to smoking in FAA-controlled buildings).

This 2010 Bloomberg article references nearly 700 law cases brought "by the FAA" (which might corroborate the claim in the Wikipedia article):

The Federal Aviation Administration has brought 696 cases, some for civil fines of thousands of dollars, against people caught smoking aboard airliners in the last five years, said Diane Spitaliere, an agency spokeswoman. Lighting a cigarette on a plane has been banned for 20 years.

• That's certainly why we won't see it on US flights - though there are likely places in the world where smoking on aircraft is still legal. – voretaq7 Nov 16 '14 at 7:04
• @voretaq7 On the other hand, it means that no airline would fit such a cubicle to a long-haul plane that they might want to use on a route into the USA. Of course, there are many long-haul flights that go nowhere near the USA but that still limits the plane's usefulness somewhat. (And I figure it would only be fitted to long-haul flights.) – David Richerby Nov 16 '14 at 16:26
• I was wondering why not a single airline does it. It's still 25% of adults in the UK are smokers; I would have guessed one airline might try for a competitive advantage by allowing it slightly. – ChrisW Nov 16 '14 at 16:30
• @ChrisW - An aircraft would come under the UK's public smoking laws. Many other European countries have the same kinds of laws. – Jon Story Nov 27 '14 at 14:43
• The regulation you're looking for is 14 CFR 252.3, which states, quite simply, Air carriers shall prohibit smoking on all scheduled passenger flights. – reirab Dec 31 '14 at 20:14

During 60's to 70's smoking was not prohibited. However, every rule and prohibition depends on safety, prohibition of smoking on aircrafts also commits to safety of flight. Smoking is a big crime on planes, if there are couple of attempts to smoke on a flight that`s considered as terrorist act, at that point whoever tries to smoke are accused as terrorist. Pilots land aircraft to closest airport and police takes suspects from aircraft.

Possibility of fire is main reason for this rule. Seats or floor could catch fire from cigarettes. Even if you smoke lavatory, it is a lot more dangerous because there are lots of paper towels and etc. that catches fire in lavatories.

Even if some special cabins has been built, there are still risk of fire because of inattention or terrorist could try to burn down the aircraft.

You could say that if somebody tries to burn down an airplane they could use lavatory to that. Because of this aircraft lavatories are equipped with smoke detectors.

Essential of aviation rules to ban everything that could not be controlled up in the air.

• With all due respect, I have to disagree with your statement that – Terry Mar 8 '15 at 0:33
• I'm not sure about other countries, but I do not believe that someone would be charged with terrorism if they attempted to smoke on a flight in the U.S. They might be arrested for failing to comply with crew instructions and posted placards, but not terrorism (unless, of course, there were actual evidence that they intended to use the cigarette to set the cabin on fire.) – reirab Mar 8 '15 at 5:35
• smoking was allowed in the 80s too – Mishax Aug 27 '15 at 11:21
• I was trying to say: If someone keeps trying to smoke on a particular flight, it will be considered as a terrorist act. – orko Jul 1 at 8:11
• Smoking leads to terrorism charges? [citation needed] – T.J.L. Sep 3 at 12:49