Q. I'm always surprised when I fly aboard an older model aircraft and find those little ashtrays on the arm of my seat. Are there any airlines that still actually allow smoking?

A. It wasn't so long ago that Air Canada first introduced non-smoking flights in 1987. And since then, most of the world followed suit, some slower than others. There is an inconsistency among certain carriers in the Middle East and Africa, and you may find the smoking bans touted on their web sites to be loosely enforced, if at all.

A few years ago, there was talk of creating an airline especially for smokers called Smintair (which sounds oddly similar to a breath mint) with service between Dusseldorf and Nagoya. But apparently that's been put on hold.

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