Smoking on Planes Isn’t Really That Rare

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Photo: iStockphoto

Smoking on an airplane has been banned for twenty years, and the punishment for breaking this rule is a fine of thousands of dollars. Given that, it takes a special type of jerk to smoke on a plane. And surprisingly, there are a lot of these jerks. In the last five years, the FAA brought 696 cases against people caught smoking on planes, and that just includes those, like Qatari diplomat Mohammed Al-Madadi, who get caught. Most of the FAA fines aren't public, but in 2004 it was revealed that one woman was fined $3,300 for lighting up in the air. Considering that that's about the price of a pack of cigarettes, the fine doesn't seem like much of a deterrent.

In-Flight Smokes Entice Hundreds 20 Years Following U.S. Ban [Bloomberg]