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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

European Airline Brings Back the Smoking Section


It’s been a long time since passengers have been allowed to smoke on an airliner in the United States. It’s the same story in Europe. But now the smoking crowd across the Atlantic have an option when the nicotine comes calling.

Ireland-based Ryanair is selling smokeless cigarettes on all the company’s flights. Ryanair says a survey showed more than 24,000 passengers would like the option to smoke during flights and that was enough of an incentive in these lean times to try and gain some market share as well as some extra income. So as long as you’re at least 18 years old, the company will sell you a pack of smokeless smokes for 6 euro (about $8.75).

Ryanair is a discount airlines that flies throughout Europe and North Africa and is no stranger to using a gimmick to bring in some business. The company says the cigarettes can’t be lit and deliver the nicotine through inhalation.

For those who fear the old days when the difference between the smoking section on an airplane and the non-smoking section was simply whichever way the air was flowing inside the cabin, the smokeless cigarettes do not emit any toxins or chemicals to nearby passengers. Company spokesman Stephen McNamara believes when smokers can get their nicotine, everybody wins, “as these cigarettes are smokeless, they cause no discomfort to other passengers and can ensure a more enjoyable and stress-free flight for all passengers as non-smokers will no longer have to cope with moody smokers in need of nicotine.”

Photo: Ron Layters/Flickr