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When the news of a man who was prohibited from flying to Bali after being spotted smoking when boarding the plane while the plane was being refueled was made public, people were reminded of how dangerous these situations are. Fundamental rules on flights are wearing a seat belt during take-off and landing and no smoking under any and all circumstances, even in lavatories.
From when smoking is not allowed on Flights?
This rule was enforced 28 years ago, the United States banned smoking on domestic flights whose duration was more than 6 hours. A decade later, smoking was prohibited on flights from the United States to foreign destinations.
Secondhand smoke on flights is considered a grievous health hazard. Sara Nelson, the international president of the Association of Flight Attendants shared her experience from when she was working as a flight attendant in 1996. This was the time when smoking was still permitted on numerous international flights.
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She recalled her experience as a passenger, “I remember getting off the plane and feeling like I had to scrape off layers over layers of ice, my eyes were stinging, my throat was hurting along with all the other symptoms due to exposure from secondhand smoke,”
A sad reminder comes from Varig Flight 820, which had to make an emergency landing in France in 1973. Which, as a result of smoke inside the cabin, the smoke being triggered by a fire in one of the lavatories. This had resulted in 123 deaths, and only 11 survivors. The suspected cause was a cigarette being thrown into a trash bin that was full of flammable tissues.
Despite the ban on smoking, however, Ashtrays can still be found on aircraft, usually next to the lavatory. This is for safety purposes if there ever arises a need for a safe place to put out a lit cigarette.
A requirement by US law, the regulation states that: “Regardless of whether smoking is allowed in the airplane, self-contained removable ashtrays should be situated conspicuously on or near the entry side of each lavatory door.”
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