Most of the men in my family smoked at one time, too. My grandfather was a very early lung removal patient, because of smoking. He lived to be in his 80's, so it worked.
Dh did smoke for a while, I'm not sure why he took it up, but it wasn't for all that long, thankfully.
So, he hasn't smoked at all in 30 years, I don't smoke, none of our children smoke/d, nor does ddil.
I remember so well the style of ashtray that you are talking about. They used to be in every home, pretty much.
That's an excellent use for it.
Love All Life; Thank You For Posting! :)