I certainly take smoke-free flights for granted. This was the reason I made such a stink about smoking on a China Eastern flight last year. But we don’t have to go back all that far to recall a different era in which smoking was not only commonplace aboard airplanes, but encouraged.
As best as I can tell, Cuban flag carrier Cubana was the last airline in the world to ban smoking in 2014. As public pressure over the health risks of second-hand smoke and general intolerance for discomfort has grown, carriers responded by banning smoking. Sometimes legislation has forced airlines to act.
But go back to the 1990s…when I was a kid…and the world was a very different place. Even as late as 2002 airlines such as Aeroflot, Condor, Iberia, and Garuda still allowed smoking on some flights. Go back further and you’ll see that not only was smoking permitted on airlines, but encouraged. SAS, for example, manufactured its own cigarettes!
SAS has a fascinating story in its onboard Scandinavian Traveler magazine about the history of smoking on SAS.
In 1988, SAS made domestic flights in Sweden and Norway non-smoking and the year after, the policy was expanded to domestic flights in Denmark and flights between the Nordic countries. In 1996, two years after smoking areas were removed from schoolyards inSweden, SAS flights to the Benelux countries, France, Germany, Switzerland, Austria and the UK became smoke-free. And it was incredibly only  years ago, in 1997, that SAS banned smoking on all flights. This coincided with the EU ban on smoking on flights in member states.
In 1994, Delta was the first airline in the USA to ban smoking on all worldwide flights.
The point is, it wasn’t all that long ago yet I still cannot fathom it.
I’ve argued before that while I am a big proponent of designated smoking areas at airports, I am against onboard smoking because others cannot escape it. That’s a position even the majority of smokers agree with. Do you?
> Read More: Why I Mourn the Loss of Airport Smoking Lounges
So, do any airlines still allow onboard smoking? The answer is no. At least not that I can find. If you have evidence to the contrary, please share it below.