Is it possible to smoke inconspicuously on an airplane?

Can I smoke discreetly on the plane?

“Smoking is strictly prohibited on an airplane” is one of the first things we hear when we board an aircraft. “Subtleties” decided to find out how strict this ban is, and whether it is possible to smoke quietly on the plane.

First, a little history

Back in the middle of the last century, during the flight, you could smoke for your pleasure. It even got to the point that airlines produced cigarettes under their own brand (for example, the Scandinavian airline SAS sinned this) or offered them on board (this was practiced by the American United Airlines). In the 70s, the authorities of some countries and the management of airlines began to think about the health of non-smoking passengers and crew, who were forced to breathe smoke throughout the flight. Then for the first time there were special sections for non-smokers.

In 1986, the USSR banned smoking on flights shorter than 3 hours. A total ban on smoking on board was first introduced in Australia in 1987, followed by the United States the following year. This has subsequently spread to other airlines.

Cuban carrier Cubana has become the latest airline to go smoke-free on board. This happened only in 2014.

Our days

Since then, smoking in the cabin has been completely prohibited. You can't do it in the toilet either. Firstly, the door of the toilet cabin is not airtight, so the smell will get into the cabin anyway. Secondly, the toilets, like the rest of the cabin, are equipped with smoke detectors. As soon as the first clubs get into the ventilation, the signal will immediately go to the cockpit.

However, this ban does not stop some especially zealous smokers, despite fines and even imprisonment. For example, in 2010, a diplomat from Qatar was arrested upon arrival at the Denver airport for smoking on board and threatening the crew. In 2013, a family of 4 suffered the same fate: because they decided to smoke on board, a Sunwing Airlines plane flying to the Dominican Republic was forced to make an emergency landing in Bermuda. Sometimes such incidents happen due to the fault of the crew members. For example, last year an Air China pilot lit up an electronic cigarette in the cockpit. The smoke leaked into the cabin, which led to the shutdown of the air conditioning system and a sharp decrease in oxygen levels. Because of this, the airliner had to drastically lower its altitude.

“Subtleties” remind you that smoking not only on board the aircraft, but also on the ground harms your health and the health of those around you. In order not to put yourself and others in danger (forced landing of an aircraft because of a cigarette is still a pleasure), it is better to be patient until the end of the flight.

More related readings

  • Why do you really need seat belts on an airplane?
  • 15 things not to do on an airplane
  • Window seat without a window: how not to be left without a cool view on an airplane

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