When and why are cigarette lighters and ash trays no longer in vehicles?

Smoker friend is angry.

Thank you.

Good , maybe he will quit now .

And apparently your friend is not smart enough to see that many new vehicle actually do have a ’ Smokers Kit ’ as optional accessories .


Every vehicle these days has at least 2 “power ports” or cigarette lighter sockets. Lighters are available at any auto parts stores. Buy one, plug it in.

Same for ashtrays that fit into cupholders.

Its been 20 years since any of my cars came standard with a cigarette lighter and ashtray.



I doubt if many people opt for that extra equipment, but it is available on many models.

I remember riding in a 1950 Nash Ambassador Custom. It not only had ashtrays for the left and right rear seat passengers, but it had cigarette lighters on both sides as well.


Think our station wagon had the same. Cigarette companies paid off automobile manufacturers to install equipment we had to pay for?

In the 50s and 60s smoking among adults was somewhere around 70%.


I think that this represents an unnecessary belief in a conspiracy. Some things exist without a conspiracy being the explanation. As Sigmund Freud once said in regard to symbolism in dreams, “Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar”. :wink:

Years ago, so many people smoked that ashtrays and lighters were considered by many folks to be a necessity in cars. Take a look at virtually any movie made from the '30s to the '70s, and you will see a cigarette in at least one person’s hand in almost every scene. That gives you and idea of just how ubiquitous cigarettes were.

In the movie Dark Passage, right after he emerges from plastic surgery on his face, Humphrey Bogart’s character is given “vital” post-surgical information by the surgeon. That information includes two items: How to eat, and how to smoke.


@VDCdriver. Back in the 1950s, everybody smoked. The school bus I rode in elementary school had ashtrays. After a grueling day learning long division, working with fractions and decimals and doing cursive writing, it was great to get in the school bus, light up a smoke, and unwind on the way home.
Now that we discourage smoking, they don’t teach cursive writing in many schools and the children do their math on their smartphones with the calculator app. I guess this is done because kids aren’t allowed to smoke and have no way to unwind.


I was an undergraduate student from 1965-1969, and people actually used to smoke in the classrooms. It was not unusual for a student or two to smoke, and even some of the professors smoked.

One very memorable incident involved a somewhat loopy elderly female professor who was smoking when a messenger arrived with a memo that she needed to read and to sign. She put down her cigarette, opened her purse, extracted a pen, signed the memo, and then proceeded to put the pen in her mouth and the lit cigarette into her purse. Nobody said anything until smoke began to waft from her purse.


I remember reading a Consumer Reports article where CR compared the 1952 Ford Mainline 6 with the Chevrolet Special, the bottom trim line in the 1952 Chevrolet lineup. One of CR’s criticisms of the Chevrolet was that it didn’t have an ash tray. If one wanted an ash tray, one had to pay extra for the higher Deluxe trim line.
Maybe that stripped down 1952 Chevy was ahead of its time.


After the 1998 tobacco lawsuits, which revealed just how dangerous and addictive cigarettes really are, smoking really fell out of vogue in this country. That is when ash trays and lighters started disappearing from new cars. That is also the time when car makers stopped printing the words “UNLEADED FUEL ONLY” on the dash of new cars. By the year 2000, only a few stragglers such as Daewoo and Kia still came with a lighter and ash tray, and still said “UNLEADED FUEL ONLY” on the dash.

“The smoking lamp is lit” in 1968 signaled time to light up in the Navy and “in country” cigarettes were free. They came in huge cases of mixed brands.

I never connected the dots until now but this is about the time people just started going nuts for no reason at all. Get slapped holding the door open, etc.

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No, no. It wasn’t smoking, it was reduced drinking that caused all those problems. :wink:

Actually . . . cigarette lighter cigarette lighter sockets can indeed be used as power ports, but the fit sometimes isn’t perfect

But I’m not sure if dedicated power ports . . . they are slightly different, versus cigarette lighter sockets . . . can be used reliably for a cigarette lighter

Remember the original twilight zone series with Rod Serling? I believe in the intro, you can see the cigarette smoke, but not necessarily the cigarette itself

I remember during my apprenticeship, the trainer(s) handed out cigarettes as a bonus when we had reached some particular milestone. And many of the apprentices were still under the age of 18.

Now that you mention it, he was holding a lit ciggie in the original show’s intro.

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Well, my Sonoma has 3 cigarette lighters in it and since I’ve never smoked a cigarette in my life maybe I could be talked into selling off all 3 … :wink:

And yes, I tried a lighter in all 3 and it works every time. Charge multiple devices or lung cancer…

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I’m not going to criticize anybody for smoking

I used to do it myself . . . it’s been quite awhile, though . . . and all of us have habits which are unhealthy and possibly annoying to other people

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I’m not going to criticize anyone for smoking who started years ago when the tobacco industry still cast a cloud of doubt over the growing scientific evidence that tobacco is poison. I am going to criticize anyone who started smoking after 1998, when clear and convincing evidence (documents from tobacco companies themselves, testimony of former employees and executives) was released, proving what many had suspected for years (that tobacco is poison) and even outlining their plan of adding nicotine to their product for the purpose of creating and maintaining addiction.

And yet I still see teenagers and young twentysomethings smoking cigarettes and using vape pens. It blows my mind, really. By the time these kids were born, there was no more denying that tobacco is poison, yet they choose to smoke/vape anyways.

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