On 21st September 2009 Ryanair, always with an eye to extracting more money from its customers , introduced the completely ludicrous ‘smokeless cigarettes’ as the budget airline returned to the days of puffing away on flights by allowing passengers to get their nicotine fix from smokeless substitutes that don’t inconvenience fellow passengers. Nicotine-loaded cigarettes are odourless and smokeless and so it would seem also pointless. I think smokers agree with me on this point because despite the hard sell on every flight I have never seen anyone buy them.
As an experience flying has mostly deteriorated in quality since the 1960s except in one important area where there has been massive improvement. In the 60s passengers that smoked were still allowed to light up a cigarette on board which meant that because of the way airplanes recirculate air in the cabin everyone else had to as well.
To be fair they did all have to sit at the back of the aircraft, a bit like Dante’s Inferno, and puff away together but after a couple of hours there was a horrible acrid odour of stale tobacco and the entire cabin smelt like an unemptied ash tray. Actually it wasn’t just cigarettes but pipes and cigars as well and this was so bad that even the cigarette smokers complained about this. Pipes and cigars were banned in 1979 but a ban on cigarettes had to wait for another ten years.