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I Just Found Out Why Airplane Bathrooms Still Have Ashtrays And It's Wild

No smoking sign + ashtray = SO WHAT IS THE TRUTH?!

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Anyone who's ever been on an airplane knows smoking on board is STRICTLY PROHIBITED.

Smoking became illegal on most flights in the US in February 1990.
Apatow Productions

Smoking became illegal on most flights in the US in February 1990.

Like, for one, it's 2017, and two, it sounds like a terrible fucking idea. Let me illustrate with emojis:

I was going to explain why it's a bad idea, but I really shouldn't have to, so I'm not.
Jon-Michael Poff / BuzzFeed

I was going to explain why it's a bad idea, but I really shouldn't have to, so I'm not.

Even though you always ignore them, flight attendants tell you smoking's prohibited every single flight, and there's also a 🚫 sign in the lavatory.

BUT HAVE YOU EVER NOTICED THAT THERE'S ALSO AN ASHTRAY IN THE LAVATORY???

Exclusive footage of me on my flight back to New York last month.
Apple

Exclusive footage of me on my flight back to New York last month.

*squints and stares confusedly*

If you have, you've probably just assumed you were on an old plane, in which case your anxiety turned to the ancient engines keeping you in the air.

@Tim_HZ / Via Twitter: @Tim_HZ

But given that these ashtrays are also on new planes...

@l_abigail / Via Twitter: @l_abigail

...you're left with one massive question:

Harpo

[extreme Barbara Walters voice] I've got answers:

Federal law actually requires that lavatories have ashtrays JUST IN CASE a rule-breaker decides to light up.

Nikkytok / Getty Images

The thinking goes that if someone does decide to smoke on board, it'd be better for them to put the butt in the ashtray than in the trash, where it could catch fire and OHMYGOD I MUST STOP THINKING ABOUT THIS.

Fox

So there you have it. Wonder no more!

Jive

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