This is not my ashtray-though it does reside on my front porch. The graveyard of neglected butts provoked me to wander inside, get online, and type the words "Smokeless Ashtray" into a search engine.
Now, a funny thing happens when you type the words "Smokeless Ashtray." Instead of finding one cheezy As Seen On TV product-which was what I was expecting-you find a whole bunch of different models. Even if the designs are basically the same, a wide variety of brand choices exist.
If you're like me, one brand name comes to mind when you combine "TV" with "smokeless ashtray": Ronco.
Oh, yeah baby! When you hear the word Ronco, you know you're in for something. What that something is... well, that's open to interpretation.
But ya gotta love this ad from the 1980s for their smokeless ashtray:
Isn't that nice? He's using it out of concern for his family's health.
I'm mainly including this commercial to show how the design of smokeless ashtrays hasn't really changed over the past 30 years. Though there are a couple of exceptions, these things still look like... well, they look like ashtrays.
Smokeless Ashtray # 1: Dbroth
Made of fireproof Melamine (which sounds like some sort of cream filled cookie to me), this ashtray's biggest claim to fame seems to be a loud fan motor. Apparently unfiltered smoke leaks out of the seams as well, though I couldn't confirm this firsthand. (See dbroth ashtray)
What kills me is that this ashtray looks almost exactly like the Dbroth model. What's the difference?
In digging around I can't really find how this ashtray differs from the one above.
Most complaints stem from die-hards who smoke 100s-which don't fit in the ashtray. And then there's the fan volume issue, yet again-though this may be caused by vibration and can be reduced by putting it on a soft surface.
In the interest of variety, I decided to skip over the many other brands that looked pretty much like regular ashtrays and focus on a few that broke the mould when it came to design.
After all, variety is the spice of life-even in the wild world of smokeless ashtrays. (See cheaphumidor ashtray)
At first I thought this was a small version of the George Foreman Grill. But no... just another ashtray. In this case, the lid is the on/off switch, which is a feature that makes perfect sense to me. (See holmes ashtray)
This is the ashtray that someone in Star Trek would use-though from what I gather, smoking is a rare activity in the 23rd century.
This ionic ashtray breaks down smoke into tiny, negatively charged particles. These particles get trapped in the positively charged steel dome, which somehow converts this into clean air. All of this with no filters. (See smokeless ashtray)
And then there's this:
Awwwwww... Isn't he cute? I suppose this would be the ashtray of choice if you were trying to hook your toddler on cigarettes.
"C'mon, Billy. Smoke up for mommy..."
Those tender words will stay with you all the way through your terminal visit to the cancer ward.
The little penguin's tummy is the on/off switch. Simply surgically open him and light up. At a whopping 3 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 5 1/2", this little guy can fit in your pocket for puffin' on the go.
Speaking of which-should this be a puffin instead of a penguin? Puffin. Get it?
Yeah... it's been a long day for me, too. (Update: The penguin ashtray is no longer available. Instead, you can get a super fun car smokeless ashtray here.)
Smoke ‘em if ya got ‘em in your living room by getting one of these ashtrays at Amazon!
Editor's Note: There is also a sleek contemporary stainless smokeless ashtray and fun car shaped smokeless ashtrays worthy of a look.
Article updated by editor to provide updated info and links.