Can you smoke on a private jet? Yes. Currently, there are no laws that prevent smoking tobacco on private jets. Now, if you’re chartering a private jet, there may be some restrictions put in place by the company that owns it, like smoking onboard.
Commercial airlines, on the other hand, have banned smoking in planes for many years now, and are extremely vigilant when it comes to this ban.
Can You Smoke on a Private Plane?
Since private jets don’t need to follow the same rules and guidelines required by commercial airplanes, you can smoke all the tobacco you want. However, this is only possible if you own the private jet and it follows FAA regulations for Passenger and Crew Compartment Interiors. This means the aircraft has to have an adequate number of removable ashtrays, as well as clear signage that indicates the areas where smoking is not allowed, like in the cockpit. If you don’t own the jet, and you’re just chartering it, you have to confirm with the company that owns it if smoking is allowed – some are fine with it, but others aren’t.
Can You Smoke Marijuana on a Private Plane?
Can you smoke marijuana on private jets? Probably not, even though it depends on which country you are flying above. Nonetheless, most countries have some kind of federal law involving the use, possession or distribution of marijuana. If you’re doing a domestic flight in the USA, you should know that marijuana is still considered a schedule 1 controlled substance, like heroin and LSD. There is also the concern that it can impact the judgment and performance of the pilots, which can be exposed to smoke, due to contained ventilation systems.
For these reasons, aircraft owners and operators usually ban marijuana from being smoked on board. However, if you’re the aircraft owner and you’re flying privately, there is no real way for authorities to know what you’ve been doing on board, mainly due to the lack of regulation and procedures private jets need to follow.
Can You Smoke on a Commercial Plane?
You cannot smoke on a commercial plane. Currently, there is no airline that allows smoking on board, at least since 2019, when China Airlines finally followed the ban.
These restrictions first appeared in 1988. Before that, smoking on planes was actually pretty common. However, the 70s brought a great deal of new data, showing the potential risks of smoking and secondhand smoke. The following years saw a decline in the use of cigarettes in general, with a lot of airlines creating non-smoking sections inside airplanes. These restrictions made the tobacco companies, as well as airline companies, fight further regulations. At the start, there was an immediate slowing down, but in 1987 the US Congress banned inflight smoking on domestic flights that lasted less than two hours, while Japan Airlines banned smoking completely. In the following years, many countries followed the ban, with the USA, Canada and Australia in 1995 and the EU in 1997.
Can You Smoke E-Cigarettes on a Commercial Plane?
You can’t use e-cigarettes while flying a commercial flight, according to most airlines. An electronic cigarette, or e-cigarette, is a battery-operated device, which heats nicotine, flavorings, and other chemicals to create an aerosol, meaning there is no real tobacco smoke (at least not as we usually know it). They appeared around 2003 and in 2015 they were prohibited, by the US Department of Transportation (as well as by other countries’ Departments of Transportation).
Besides the unknown long-term risks of the use of specific chemicals, having a battery-operated device on board is a fire hazard, even though most airlines let you carry it in youtube carry-on baggage or on your person.
What Happens if You Get Caught Smoking on a Commercial Flight?
If you get caught smoking on a commercial flight, you have to pay a fine to the FAA (usually $50) and you’re banned from the airline. There is no jailable offense.
It’s important to note that it depends on the airline you’re using. Some might only ask you politely to put out the cigarette and not even report the accident, but the majority have quite strict rules and punishments when it comes to smoking inflight. The fine is usually between $2 and $4000, even though the majority goes for $50. Only 10% of FAA fines are related to inflight smoking.
Now, some airlines can take this matter a bit more seriously and contact the police of the destination country, during international flights, which can detain you upon arrival. However, this usually only happens if you are asked to put out the cigarette and you refuse or create a commotion and force the pilots to make a diversion or an emergency landing.
Can Pilots Smoke on Commercial Flights?
Even though FAA does not prohibit pilots from smoking in the cockpit, on commercial flights, the majority of airlines do. With that said, pilots cannot smoke during commercial flights.
Furthermore, this restriction applies not only to pilots but to crew members as well. However, there was a time when passengers couldn’t smoke on board, but pilots could still do it (only in the cockpit). Their reasoning had to do with nicotine withdrawal and the consequences it could bring, regarding their performance and ability to safely navigate the plane.
There are still a few international airlines (U.S.-based ones all banned pilots from smoking) that allow smoking in the cockpit.
Where there’s Smoke…
Seeing smoke while flying a plane is never good news, but in this case, it isn’t as bad as you might think. While in private jets there are no real regulations on who can smoke and what they can smoke, in commercial flights the story is different, even though your punishment might be a simple slap on the wrist and a fine.