Q:One thing I’ve wondered about is why the lavs continue to have ashtrays when smoking has been outlawed on most if not all flig

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Q:One thing I’ve wondered about is why the lavs continue to have ashtrays when smoking has been outlawed on most if
not all flights? I could understand a “legacy” ashtray, but not one in a new or newly refurbished plane. I’ve asked flight attendants but they did not know. Would you know?

Yes, it’s because federal regulations still require them. The regulations state: “Regardless of whether smoking is allowed in any other part of the airplane, lavatories must have self-contained, removable ashtrays located conspicuously on or near the entry side of each lavatory door…”
As strange as that might seem, there is some logic to this. If someone sneaks a cigarette in the bathroom, violating federal law, that stealthy smoker still needs a place to dispose of it safely.
There’s a huge danger of just dropping a smoldering butt in a wastebasket full of paper. That could start a fire. So even federal criminals need an ashtray in the sky.

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