by Julie Finch-Scally
Most countries around the world have legislated against cigarettes being smoked in public places. Many smokers now go outside a building and congregate in an area some distance from the building entrance to enjoy their cigarette. But for those smokers ashtrays are still the best way of collecting the cigarette butts instead of stamping them out on the ground. Some people carry little metal boxes into which they can ash the cigarette and place their butts.
Because a cigarette is combustible, once used it has to have its own receptacle. Many buildings have metal canisters hanging on the wall near the entrance for butts to be placed, and several trash bins have a special section for cigarettes to keep them separate from the rest of the garbage in the bin.
But if you are having a guest over and they are a smoker, although they will walk outside to smoke, they will still need an ashtray to dispose of the butt when they have finished. And, when the guest has gone home the ashtray needs to be cleaned.
Many years ago when smoking was still allowed in pubs, clubs and restaurants, there were ashtrays on tables and shelves around the rooms. One person used to walk around the rooms on a regular basis and empty out the butts into a container. That container would have been taken outside and tipped into the large garbage bins in the back lane. Every night the ashtrays would be collected and put through the dishwasher. As most ashtrays were made of glass this was an easy procedure.
In fancy restaurants, if a cigarette was placed in an ashtray the waiter would put a plate over the top of the ashtray, and replace it with a clean one. Presumably the dirty ashtray was taken to a special area, emptied and the ashtray and plate washed for re-use.
Having a glass ashtray is the answer for keeping them clean. The stubbing out of the cigarette on the bottom has no affect on the glass itself, and because it is made of glass it is washable. The smell from the tobacco will not penetrate the glass and won’t leave a stain.
If you or your friends smoke, then glass ashtrays are the answer. But always have more than one. That way you can replace the dirty one while the other is being washed. With this system you will always have a clean ashtray on hand for any one who smokes.