General Question

Here2_4's avatar

Do you have any ashtrays as a part of your decor?

Asked by Here2_4 (7142points) December 2nd, 2014

Someone recently asked a question about a visiting smoker. It took me back to the days of my childhood.
People used to have ashtrays in their homes whether they smoked themselves or not. It was a part of the decor even. I remember especially the big bright colored ones of orange, green, or pink, with the color bursts. My grandma had one of those. Grandpa smoked, but not her. He had his own ashtray, which stood on a pipe type of pedestal. It had a knob at the top which spun the butts down into the interior after he was done with them. It kept the mess contained. The other ashtray was for looks, and visitors when there was a smoker come to call.
Do people still do that? Even the game shows would include an ashtray in the setting when they gave away a livingroom set.

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

41 Answers

zenvelo's avatar

No more!

When I quit smoking in 1988 I took all my ashtrays to an Alcoholics Anonymous group and donated them. (AA meetings were mostly still smoking back then; they are smoke free now.)

My ex MIL still has the big flashy decor ashtrays in her living room, even though her husband the smoker died 19 years ago.

ragingloli's avatar

I do not have ashtrays.
If anyone wants to smoke, I direct them to the door.

Pachy's avatar

I quit smoking in ‘68 but kept ashtrays around for guests for many years. Nowadays, none of my friends smoke and the only ashtray I have is somewhere in a drawer.

marinelife's avatar

No, My last big ashtray was lost in the 80s. It was glass and large and square. I once hurled it at the wall like a frisbee when a spider came down on a web. It dented the wall.

stanleybmanly's avatar

We have a huge pile of them, but I don’t know where they are. The wife quit smoking 15 years ago, and they vanished. They pop up at parties. The back deck will be littered with them. And at the sight of them, I’m ALWAYS taken aback that nobody smoked in the house. It seems so strange, because smoke and smokers never bothered me. They were just an accepted fact for the great majority of my life. I still puff on an occasional cigar, but never in the house, or around the wife. Back in the days when she first tried to quit, she would come over and take puffs on my lit cigars and pipes, so I quit smoking both.

dappled_leaves's avatar

None in my house. Like @ragingloli, I direct people to the door when they want to smoke, which rarely happens.

Growing up in my parents’ house (where none of us smoked), we had several ashtrays, so I know what you mean about d├ęcor – although my mother kept them in a couple of stacks in the kitchen cupboards and would bring them out for guests or parties.

We had a few of the classics in clear glass and that deep red glass that was common in the 70s, but my favourite as a child was one of these, which said something to the effect of “I drank Canada dry”. Very clever when you’re eight.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

No!! People are not allowed to smoke in our house or our vehicles, if a friend comes over in the winter that is a smoker we will allow them to smoke in the garage but that’s it.
And no we don’t have any decretive ones in the house at all.

syz's avatar

No smoking in my house, and no ashtrays.

cookieman's avatar

I’ve never owned an ashtray. Growing up though, my mother (a chain smoker) had many of them. Some were quite decorative and beautiful. Well, until they were covered with burnt ash. :^)

There’s only one person who comes to my house who smokes, and she goes outside on her own.

janbb's avatar

I don’t think I know anyone personally who smokes any more. Amazing!

Strauss's avatar

We haven’t had ashtrays in our house since before the wife stopped smoking about 5 years ago. Even then, she would go outside to smoke. Now, any guests we have who do smoke seem to head outside on their own, no need to post or announce our smoking ban.

bossob's avatar

We don’t smoke anymore, but still have a few sitting around gathering dust. They’re made from natural stone and attractive, regardless of their original purpose.

Coloma's avatar

I smoke a few American spirits and E-cigs on occasion still, but I used to collect vintage ashtrays, the really artsy ones, mostly ceramics. Like these.

I used to use them for decorative purpose, floating flower holders and candle holders. I love vintage ashtrays, many were a work of art.

Berserker's avatar

I have one that was a gift from a friend who went to Cuba. It’s a handmade head, with a little straw hat and a cigar in his mouth. Basically you put the butts in his mouth and crush them with the cigar.
But it looks too cool to put cigarettes out in, I use it as a decoration.

Seaofclouds's avatar

Nope. We do not let anyone smoke in the house, so there is no point in having an ashtray in the house.

SecondHandStoke's avatar

I have two matching commercial grade foodservice glass ashtrays.

They are now antiques yet totally serviceable. Unmistakeable classic design.

I also have an antique floor standing wooden tray with copper glass insert. It is useless in my mother in law’s home. I know, I know. It doesn’t make any sense to me either.

Aaaand now I want a cigarette…

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

I quit a loong time ago, have not seen an ash tray in a house in ages.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

I don’t even own an ashtray. I’d ask smokers to go outside and have to find them a tin can to use or something like that.

Buttonstc's avatar

Nope. Not a single one.

I had to endure living with two chain smokers as a child and left all that behind as soon as I got out of there, much to my relief.

I don’t think I even have any friends who smoke so have no use at all for ashtrays.

Here2_4's avatar

But see, the question wasn’t about how many smokers does anyone know. It is about having decorative ashtrays at home, whether there are smokers, or not.

dappled_leaves's avatar

Oh @Here2_4, are you actually expecting people to read the details? ;)

Berserker's avatar

@Here2_4 Lol yeah. I found it pretty funny that people were mostly just voicing their disdain of smoking or telling us how they don’t smoke anymore.

I mean, I have like about 20 swords at home for decorations, doesn’t mean I used to be a templar or that I run around in my backyard with the swords being all fuckin epic anshit.

Here2_4's avatar

Are you saying you don’t? Because, that sounds fun.

Coloma's avatar

@Symbeline No s——t, lol.
Hey, I’m certainly not going to claim smoking is a good thing on a regular basis but using some tobacco products as a ritual relaxation moment is awesome. Brandy and cigars on the porch anyone?

ibstubro's avatar

I quit smoking at least 15 years ago after 19 years smoking.
My S/O smokes. In the house. I have never suggested otherwise. We have a ton of ashtrays, both decorative and functional.

JLeslie's avatar

No, but I remember making them in school and they were displayed just like putting your kids drawings on the fridge. My dad did smoke for many years, but I don’t remember if he actually used my ashtrays for ashes.

Strauss's avatar

I remember as a child watching Edward R. Murrow smoking Camel cigarettes on the air. I also remember TV host Arthur Godfrey pitching Chesterfields.

Here2_4's avatar

I did not ask a question about smoking. I did not ask a question about smokers. Nobody has to read the details to understand that much. I remember lots of news anchors smoking on the air. I remember Johnny Carson, and other talk show hosts smoking on the air. My question is about ashtrays, used or not. It is about how people used them to decorate a room/space. It is not about smoking.
I remember we had one which looked like a frog. It was not very big. He was sitting cross legged, and the ashes were supposed to go on his lap. A friend of my dad had on that looked like a toilet, and on the tank it said, “Butts go here”. Most of the people I knew had at least one of those great big, oddly shaped, porcelain ones. One lady had an enormous one which looked like a log, with a hollowed out portion. There was a little yellow bird on a stubble sticking out from it.
Back in the day, it was a way of decorating with something which might also serve a purpose, sort of multitasking decor. Now it seems to be a social statement to not even have one. I used to get a kick out of visiting friends and seeing what they kept around as their “set out” ashtray. Sometimes I would see someone light up in a home where it was not welcome. The hint would come from them being handed some old saucer with chips and cracks in the finish.

dappled_leaves's avatar

@Here2_4 “The hint would come from them being handed some old saucer with chips and cracks in the finish.”

Indeed, I remember when it was still shocking for a household to be without an ashtray – as if the lack of an ashtray was an extremely rude commentary to guests who might wish to smoke. The nerve!

Here2_4's avatar

@dappled_leaves , still not an answer related to my question.

dappled_leaves's avatar

@Here2_4 I already answered your question.

downtide's avatar

No. Even when I was still a smoker I only ever smoked outside so I didn’t own any ashtrays even then. Although occasionally when my partner was away from home for a few days I would smoke inside and use something disposable as an ashtray.

Here2_4's avatar

That reminded me of my college days. I knew people who would wash out their pot pie tins, and keep that as an ashtray. They would have stacks of them. Use one for the day, then throw it out. Pot pies were pretty popular at the time, and everyone saved the little tins, for themselves, or for a friend.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

@Here2_4, you could flag all the answers that you feel don’t adequately answer the question.

I think I answered the question.

JLeslie's avatar

@Here2_4 I understood. I was shocked about all the comments about not being a smoker also. I remember when ashtrays and lighters were big gift items and on display like carrying a nice pen, or having a beautiful coffee table book.

Here2_4's avatar

My one grandfather smoked, but my other grandfather and grandmother didn’t. My grandma had a fancy ashtray, but nobody ever used it, and it became a candy dish. Cool lady. Everything in her life had to have a purpose. Nothing could sit around just being pretty, except in her last years, her wardrobe. She finally contented herself with a very nice wardrobe.

seekingwolf's avatar

I actually would like a beautiful ashtray. I do not have one, as I am not a smoker and if I have smokers over, I have them go outside if they wish to smoke. But I do like incense once in a while. I’d use a pretty ashtray for that.

Currently, I burn my incense in a brown wooden box.


Love the idea of using a fancy ashtray as a candy dish. Very cute.

ibstubro's avatar

We have a dozen or two similar to this displayed just because they are little works of art. Mostly used as catch-alls, but I’d not be offended by someone using one.

On the other hand there are ashtrays made of everything from plastic to cut glass in regular use in the house. Many with minor damage.

We have no room for the vulgarity of what many have mentioned here, and I find that they have little to no re-sale value in my part of the world. Maybe the resurgence of the marijuana market will reverse that?

Coloma's avatar

@ibstubro I kinda like that minus the pukey olive green glaze. lol
I have a female friend the grew up in Hawaii and she buys custom blended Hawaiian tobacco to puff on in her pipe. This stuff smells amazing, all sorts of delicious smelling blends. There remains a fine art to smoking even if it is relegated to the pariah zone these days.

ibstubro's avatar

Yeah, just like this one would be kinda cool if it didn’t look like a tobacco stained fish, @Coloma. Bleh, spit

Glass ashtrays of the 60’s & 70’s can still find favor. Honestly, it’s hard to scream “RETRO!” any louder.
No one would ever guess that we have a collection of Blenko Glass.

Answer this question




to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther