Is This Why You Don't See Ashtrays In Cars Anymore?

In today's culture that is (understandably) hypersensitive to cigarettes, smokers seem to be finding widespread accommodations for their habit wearing thinner by the day. Remember when you were a kid and you'd toy around with the little rectangular compartment beneath the car window that flipped open and closed? Some people didn't even realize that the amusing little finger trap was an ashtray designed for passengers to light up while on a long road trip. 

Vehicles today generally don't have the little feature built into their interior, and some wonder exactly why. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 14 out of every 100 U.S. adults aged 18 or older (14.0%) still smoke cigarettes despite serious ramifications to their health. However, whether you detest smoking or not, one can't help but consider that it would still make sense — financially and otherwise — for auto manufacturers to include ashtrays in their cars for a significant portion of their clientele. So why don't they?

Why the ashtrays are gone

While there's no definitive answer to this question, the most widely accepted theory is that car companies are simply adapting their business models to tighter smoking regulations and heightened awareness of the health risks associated with cigarettes (via Stoneacre). Perhaps it is merely a sense of social responsibility that has prompted the shift, but consumers and other individuals have varying thoughts on the matter.  

Some say that it's the vehicle manufacturers' attempt to save money on car parts, while others say companies do not want to be associated with tobacco tycoons and the overall proliferation of their products (via Mental Floss). Regardless, if you're currently a smoker, you can tack cars onto the list of endangered locations for your cancer sticks along with planes, trains, and plenty of other modes of transportation. For those who don't agree with the changing of the times, portable ashtrays that you can install directly into your cupholder are still available for purchase.