They banned it back in the mid to late 80’s I think. I was a smoker back then. We sat in the rear quarter of the plane. Five minutes after takeoff, * DING * and everyone would light-up! Couldn’t wait to get the first puff of the flight! It was smokey, uh-huh - but the smokers didn’t mind
It was a time when you could smoke just about anywhere! In the malls, in the stores, planes, trains, buses… Two places you couldn’t light-up: the gas pumps and in the hospital (because of the oxygen hazard - not for concern over 2nd-hand smoke to the patients).
I have NO idea what it was like for the non-smokers - I only quit relatively recently. I can tell you that the ban had to be far worse for the smokers than the smoking was for the non-smokers! The nicotine patch and gum was the greatest invention for the smoking flyer since the ban… Even wearing the patch, between changing planes, I’d go to the nearest smoking area and light-up! I couldn’t do an entire transcon nonstop!
I think if the flight’s origin or destination is in the US, it MUST be a non-smoking flight!
It’s been several years since I’ve been to Cancun, Mexico. I remember getting off the plane there, getting INSIDE the terminal and lighting up! Oh the dirty looks I’d get… My reply: “We’re in MEXICO people!”, and I’d make a point of flicking my ashes in one of the numerous ash cans conveniently located around the customs and immigration areas! A few other people would look around and start lighting-up too!