Fifty years ago, it was not uncommon to see ashtrays on every dining room table in every restaurant. At present, many restaurants prohibit smoking inside dining areas. Some cities have even passed smoking bans. However, for restaurants and bars that maintain smoking areas both inside and on patios, ashtrays are necessary for cleanliness. Outdoor smoking areas especially require some type of receptacle for cigarette ashes and butts. Ashtrays make a good, lightweight and convenient option. Most ashtrays are fairly inexpensive, easy to place in a variety of locations and also easy to clean. Typically between four and five inches in diameter, they do not take up much table space but add the necessary means of disposing of ash and spent cigarettes without throwing them on the ground. For outdoor areas that permit smoking but where ashtrays are impractical, use a cigarette urn to collect butts.
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